• Entertainment - Featured
  • Updated: September 05, 2020

Sanwo-Olu Suspends LSFVCB Boss Over 5% Tax Imposed On Content Producers In Lagos

Sanwo-Olu Suspends LSFVCB Boss Over 5% Tax Imposed On Conten

After series of outrages, the Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has suspended the executive secretary of the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board (LSFVCB), Bamidele Balogun, over a 5% tax imposed on entertainment companies and other creatives involved in content production.

AllNews earlier reported in August that Bamidele announced that all content producers will be mandated to register their contents within the next 30 days.

The new policy, according to him attracts a 5% tax for each content produced and sold within the state and is meant to shore up the state's revenue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While speaking about the new policy for audio and visual content producers, Balogun, said, “The board will advise practitioners involved in production, sale, distribution of audio and visual products to register their products through the board’s authorised agent within 30 days.

However, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, in a statement titled, ‘Lagos State Has No 5% Levy on Audio and Visual Contents of Physical and Digital Platforms’ said the government is not involved in the development.

The statement read in part, “There is no levy on audio and visual contents of all physical and digital platforms in Lagos State. The Executive Secretary, Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mr. Bamidele Balogun, is said to have announced a five percent levy.

“The government hereby dissociates itself from the said announcement in the media. The Executive Secretary, who was not authorized to make such an announcement, has been suspended, pending an administrative inquiry.”

"The Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration is not insensitive to the fact that the (entertainment) industry has been badly hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and empathises with this and other sectors of the economy," the state's Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said.

The outrage on what the content producers tagged “extortion” resumed on Thursday, September 3, after the CEO iROKOtv CEO, Jason Njoku, shared a copy of the letter addressed to him and signed by Balogun demanding that he pay the 5% levy within seven days.

Recall that the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) had questioned the rationale behind the 5% on productions, describing it as an attempt to fleece entertainers.

The President of PMAN, Pretty Okafor also noted that the agency lacks the authority to impose such tax on artists.

“Why are they charging five percent? Does it even make sense?" he wondered. "The agency doesn’t even have the authority to tax anybody. Why would people just gather and decide to perpetrate fraud?”

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