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Lagos censors board boss suspended for demanding unauthorised levy

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The executive secretary of the Lagos State Film, Video and Censors Board Bamidele Balogun has been suspended for demanding an authorised levy.

The commissioner for information in the state Gbenga Omotoso said the 5 per cent levy on audio and visual content demanded by LSFVCB was never approved by the state government.

“There is no levy on Audio and Visual contents of all Physical and digital platforms in Lagos State,” Omotoso said in a statement on Friday.

“The Government hereby dissociates itself from the said announcement in the media.

“The Executive Secretary, who was not authorised to make such an announcement, has been suspended, pending an administrative enquiry.”

Balogun, in a letter dated August 31, asked IrokoTV, a digital video-on-demand platform to pay a 5% levy “on all audio and visual contents produced, sold, distributed, marketed, exhibited, streamed, downloaded and shared across all physical and digital platform situate lying and being within Lagos State.”

“You have been served notice as a necessary procedure and you are obliged to comply within seven days from the due of receipt of this notification.”

Balogun first announced the intention to levy all audio and visual contents produced and sold within Lagos in March.

He said the collection of the levy would help in policy formulation.

“The five per cent is a way of getting practitioners in the entertainment industry committed to the board who in return, create an enabling environment for them to operate in Lagos,” Balogun told News Agency of Nigeria in March.

“All practitioners involved in production, sales, distributions, marketing, exhibition, streaming, downloading, shearing of audio and visual products are required to comply with the development.”

But Omotoso said it would be insensitive of the state government to tax affected businesses at a time their operations has been dented by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.


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