All You Need to Know About The NFVCB classification For Skits And Music Videos in Nigeria

Creating and sharing skits, music videos, and other audiovisual content has become increasingly popular in Nigeria. However, many creators are unaware that releasing such content without proper classification from the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) is an offence.

The requirement for NFVCB classification is backed by the National Film and Video Censors Board Act of 1993. The Board led by its executive director Shaibu Husseini, in a statement, warned content creators against distributing unclassified material.

The statement reads in part, “It is also an offence to distribute or exhibit any film or video content including skits and musical videos on any platform without recourse to the National Film and Video Censors Board for classification.”

“We are collaborating with relevant security agencies to track the individuals and production companies involved, and will stop at nothing to make sure they face the full wrath of the law,” it read.

Many content creators believe that only feature films require NFVCB classification. However, all audiovisual content intended for public distribution or exhibition falls under the NFVCB’s jurisdiction. This includes YouTube skits, Instagram videos, Facebook videos, TikTok videos and music videos.

In this article, we will help you understand what this is all about, why the classification is necessary and how to ensure your content complies with Nigerian law.

What is the NFVCB?
The NFVCB is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing and regulating the film and video industry in Nigeria.

Established by the National Film and Video Censors Board Act No. 85 of 1993, the NFVCB’s primary role is to classify films and video works, ensuring they adhere to Nigerian cultural and moral standards.

Understanding classification ratings
The NFVCB uses several classification ratings to guide viewers on the suitability of content:

G (General): Suitable for all ages.
PG (Parental Guidance): Some materials may not be suitable for children without adult supervision.
12/12A: Suitable for viewers 12 years and older; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
15: Suitable for viewers 15 years and older.
18: Suitable only for adults.

Why is classification necessary?
According to the regulator, the classification by the NFVCB is crucial for several reasons:

Protecting public morality: The NFVCB ensures that content aligns with community standards and is suitable for all audiences.
Preventing harmful content: It helps prevent the distribution of content that might be harmful or inappropriate, especially for children.

Promoting cultural values: Classification supports the preservation and promotion of Nigerian cultural values and heritage.
Legal compliance: Releasing content without NFVCB classification is illegal and can result in fines, imprisonment, or both.

Types of content that require classification
The NFVCB requires classification for all audiovisual content/video works intended for public exhibition or distribution.

A guide to NFVCB classification in Nigeria: Why your skits and music videos need approval
“Video work” means any series of visual images (with or without sound)- (a) produced electronically by the use of information contained on any disc or magnetic tape; (b) shown as a moving picture.

This includes:

Music videos
Films (both full-length and short films)
Television shows

For exemptions – Section 53, 2 of the act says that a video work is considered an exempted work under the Act if, taken as a whole, it falls into one of the following categories: Designed to inform, educate, or instruct; concerned with sports; video game

The classification process
The NFVCB says the process is straightforward and designed to support the growth of the Nigerian entertainment industry. To ensure your content complies with NFVCB regulations, you need to follow these steps:

Submit your content: Prepare your content for submission to the NFVCB. This includes completing some necessary forms and providing a copy of the work.
Pay the fees: There are fees associated with the classification process. These vary depending on the type and length of the content.

Content review: The NFVCB reviews the content to ensure it meets Nigerian standards of decency, morality, and cultural values.
Receive classification: Once approved, your content will receive a classification rating (e.g., G for General, PG for Parental Guidance, etc.).
Display classification: The classification rating must be displayed prominently on all promotional materials and at the beginning of the content.
A guide to NFVCB classification in Nigeria: Why your skits and music videos need approval

Penalties for non-compliance
Non-compliance with NFVCB regulations can lead to serious consequences, including:

Fines: Monetary penalties that can be substantial. Any creator who contravenes the provisions of this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine from as low as N2,000 and to as much as N10,000.
Imprisonment: Offenders may face jail time. Any creator who contravenes the provisions of this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of one to two years imprisonment.

Content removal: Unauthorised content can be removed from platforms and distribution channels.

Benefits of NFVCB classification
Complying with NFVCB regulations offers several benefits:

Credibility: Classified content is seen as more credible and trustworthy by audiences.
Broader distribution: Classified content can be distributed more widely, including on platforms that require regulatory approval.
Audience trust: Viewers may more likely engage with content that has been vetted and approved by the NFVCB.


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