A few weeks ago the Lagos State Government announced a 5% levy on all audio and visual content created and sold within the state. It was stated that the Levy would “assist the Lagos State Government in policy formulation, with regard to planning and funding for the sector.”
According to the Punch Newspaper, a Federal High Court judgment barred the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board from levying film and video producers. Just a few days ago, a letter entitled “Implementation of 5% Levy on Audio and Visual Contents of Physical and Digital Platforms” was sent out to several platforms, including Netflix and Iroko TV demanding the 5% payment on “all audio and visual contents sold, distributed, marketed, exhibited, streamed, downloaded or shared across either digital or physical platforms”.
The content creators can now heave a sigh of relief as the letter was unauthorised.
According to SSA to the Governor of Lagos State on New Media, Jubril Gawat, the 5% levy was actually announced by the Executive Secretary of LSFVCB, Bamidele Balogun. However, the Lagos State Government did not approve the levy, and he has since been suspended “pending an administrative enquiry”.
A statement was released, “The Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu‘s Administration is not insensitive to the fact that the industry has been badly hit by the effects of the COVID19 pandemic and empathizes with this and other sectors of the economy,” the statement continued, “all stakeholders in the Entertainment Industry are advised to disregard the said publication”.
The 5% levy on Audio and Visual contents for all Physical and Digital Platforms in Lagos State as stated by the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mr. Bamidele Balogun is unauthorized, and all stakeholders in the Entertainment Industry are advised to disregard the said publication.