The Lagos State Government has suspended the Executive Secretary of the State’s Film and Video Censors Board agency (LSFVCB), Bamidele Balogun, who signed a memo announcing a five percent levy on all visual and audio content produced in the state.
In a statement on Saturday, the Commissioner for information and strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, denied the claim that the state government gave the directive for the announcement.
He disclosed that an administrative inquiry has been set up to investigate the motives behind the purported move.
“The Executive Secretary, Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mr Bamidele Balogun, is said to have announced a 5% levy. The Government hereby dissociates itself from the said announcement in the media,” the statement said.
It added, “The Executive Secretary, who was not authorised to make such an announcement, has been suspended, pending an administrative inquiry.
“The fifth pillar of the THEMES Agenda, the development policy of this administration, is Entertainment and Tourism. Practitioners are partners in our effort to ensure that Lagos State remains Africa’s leader in entertainment.”
According to the commissioner, the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration is sensitive to the fact that the industry has been badly hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He, therefore, urged stakeholders in the industry to disregard the publication and continue to remain partners with the state government in achieving its mandate in the entertainment industry.
Press had sighted a memo titled: “Implementation of 5% levy on all audio and visual content on all physical and digital platform,” and signed by Mr Balogun.
In the memo, the suspended LSFVCB boss had said the request for an immediate five per cent payment on the subject matter, included content produced, sold, distributed, marketed, exhibited, streamed, downloaded, and shared across all physical and digital platform within the state.
He also stated that a direct debit mandate form was attached for stakeholders to fill and return to the state agency.