Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has suspended the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mr. Bamidele Balogun, for imposing a 5% levy on Audio and Visual contents of all Physical and Digital Platforms in the state.
The development affected digital platforms like Netflix, Iroko TV, among others.
In a statement issued by Commissioner, Information and Strategy, Lagos State, Gbenga Omotoso, late Friday night, he dissociated the government from the announcement made by Balogun.
According to Omotoso, the official was not authorised to make such announcement.
He noted that there is no levy on audio and visual contents of all physical and digital platforms in Lagos.
“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 government’s spokesman said.
“The Executive Secretary, who was not authorised to make such an announcement, has been suspended, pending an administrative enquiry.
“The fifth pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S 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.”
Omotoso stated that the Sanwo-Olu-led administration is not insensitive to the fact that the industry has been badly hit by the effects of the COVID -19 pandemic “and empathises with this and other sectors of the economy.”
“All stakeholders in the Entertainment Industry are advised to disregard the said publication,” he added.
In a letter addressed to the Managing Director of Iroko TV, Jason Njoku, and dated August 31, 2020, Balogun said the company was obliged to pay the 5% levy “within seven days from the date of receipt of this notification.”
“We hereby request for immediate payment of the 5% levy on all audio and visual content produced, sold, distributed, marketed, exhibited, streamed, downloaded, and shared across all physical and digital platform situate (sic), lying and being within Lagos State,” the letter read in part.