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Lagos Denies Imposing 5% Tax on Audio, Visual Contents; Suspends LSFVCB Boss



value added tax VAT

By Dipo Olowookere

The Lagos State government has declared that entertainers and entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry do not need to pay 5 per cent levy on audio and visual contents of all physical and digital platforms in the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement on Friday, said the state government had no hands in the earlier announcement made by the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board (LSFVCB), Mr Bamidele Balogun, who imposed the tax.

In the statement, the Commissioner dissociated the state government from the policy, stressing that the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was not insensitive to the present challenges bedevilling the entertainment and tourism sector as a result of COVID-19.

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“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 5 per cent levy.

“The [state] government hereby dissociates itself from the said announcement in the media,” Mr Omotoso said.

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

In the statement, the Commissioner said the administration of Mr Sanwo-Olu cherishes the showbiz sector, describing practitioners in the industry as partners.

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“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.

“The Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu 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,” Mr Omotoso said in the statement.

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Yesterday, the founder of Iroko TV, Mr Jason Njoku, posted on the internet a notice sent to him from LSFVCB, asking him to remit the 5 per cent tax on contents on his popular platform.

This generated reactions from many people, who criticised the state government for being too desperate for generating high revenue at the detriment of residents of the state.

A day after Mr Balogun announced the new levy, musicians in the state under the umbrella of the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) rejected the policy.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via

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YouTube Music Unveils New Scholarship Opportunities for Black Artists



YouTube Music

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

An initiative aimed to empower Black artists and enable them to commercialise their work has been introduced by YouTube Music.

The new campaign, #YouTubeBlack Music Future Insiders Scholarship, is in partnership with a renowned music education institution, 1500 Sound Academy, founded by GRAMMY-award winning songwriters and producers, James Fauntleroy and Larrance “Rance” Dopson.

Through this scheme, YouTube will fund 10 full-ride scholarships to the Academy’s Live Online 1500 Music & Industry Fundamentals programme.

Future Insiders aims to equip at-risk and underserved youth, who aspire to enter the music and creative industries, with skills in content development and following its early success, the programme will be expanded globally with more details to be shared later this year.

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Moreover, to celebrate Black culture, YouTube Music has activated #YouTubeMusic Moments – a collection of content series, live streams, and events whose primary goal is to celebrate Black culture, identity, and experiences from the perspective of Black artists and thought leaders in music.

Also, YouTube said it will begin to receive entries for the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Class of 2022 from June 21, 2021.

This campaign will be open to songwriters, producers, amongst others living in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Canada and the United Kingdom, in addition to the United States, Brazil and Australia.

The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund Class of 2022 is part of the commitments of YouTube Music to deepen its investments in Black communities.

This initiative started with the Class of 2021 and it provided resources including dedicated one-on-one support, seed funding, training and networking programs enabling the 21 grantees to achieve incredible growth, not only on YouTube but in their careers.

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The beneficiaries received 1.4 billion views on their official channels on YouTube from January 2021 through April 2021.

In addition, six entertainers saw over 50 per cent growth in their channel subscribers (Joy Oladokun, Miiesha, BRS Kash, Jensen McRae, serpentwithfeet, and Yung Baby Tate), while four witnessed 200 per cent growth on their official channel views (serpentwithfeet, Jensen McRae, Yung Baby Tate, and Joy Oladokun).

Also, as part of YouTube Music’s Africa Month celebration, Sho Madjozi, Sauti Sol, and Fireboy DML, hosted exclusive live stream virtual concerts on each of their official artist channels, while Rexx Life Raj, Joy Oladokun, and Tkay Maidza performed at YouTube’s annual Brandcast event, with Mariah The Scientist performing an exclusive live set for YouTube Music Nights from Centre Stage in Atlanta, in support of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).

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“The YouTube Music team is excited to expand the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund and create new opportunities while also reflecting on the progress made to date,” says Alex Okosi, YouTube’s EMEA managing director for emerging markets.

“The six-month scholarship term will see recipients undertake courses in music production, engineering, songwriting, mixing, music business and much more,” Mr Okosi added.

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Cartoon Network Begins Climate Campaign for Kids



Cartoon Network Climate Champions

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A campaign aimed to involve kids in the climate change discussion has been launched by Cartoon Network.

The initiative called the Cartoon Network Climate Champions commenced this month across Africa and will continue to be a focus for the kids’ broadcast station throughout the year.

The multi-territory and multi-language climate change awareness initiative is mainly for viewers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and will allow the children to take on small challenges that can make a world of difference to the health of the planet.

A statement issued by the firm said the challenges are categorised by different themes – some of them recognising key climate awareness moments such as World Environment Day on June 5 and World Oceans Day on June 8.

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By completing the challenges, the Climate Champions earn digital rewards for a virtual garden that they can nurture and grow.

In total, there are more than 100 small actions and challenges that kids can take part in, as well as fun quizzes, games and videos. They can keep track of their progress through a global activity map, updated live for every completed action.

The map shows how the Climate Champions are making a difference in Africa and across the world, creating a community of young people joining forces for the climate.

The initiative is supported by WWF, one of the world’s leading independent conservation organisations. Both organisations will provide simple and accessible explainer videos about the issues behind the climate-related headlines in ways that kids can understand.

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As part of the campaign, Cartoon Network has also collaborated with the Digital Video team at CNN to produce a series of first-person video articles featuring young change-makers across the EMEA region to inspire the Climate Champions and motivate others to get involved.

The short vignettes spotlight some of the initiatives that young Cartoon Network fans are already involved in at a grassroots level and show how they are making a difference.

There’s a wealth of knowledge that kids all over the continent can learn from local African change-makers, Buhle Easton and Jonathan Main from SA, and Dzifa and Senam Panou from Ghana.

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The 12-year-old Buhle strongly believes saving the planet starts with small and easy things for everyone to do every day like turning off the lights in the morning and not littering just as 11-year-old Jonathan is a proud Cartoon Network Climate Champion who is passionate about water conservation and looks forward to doing his part to make a change.

Widespread pollution is a concern for brothers Dzifa and Senam, aged 11 and nine years old, respectively, and spurred on by the belief that it is time for humans to give back to the planet, they have taken on the responsibility to pick up litter around their neighbourhood.

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Heritage Bank Trains First Batch of Ynspyre Interns



Ynspyre Interns

By Dipo Olowookere

The first batch of interns selected under the Ynspyre project of Heritage Bank has undergone a training organised in conjunction with Silverbird Group.

Five young entrepreneurs in the Nigerian creative and entertainment industry were chosen from the over 3,000 who applied to be part of the programme.

The selected persons embarked on a rigorous 3-month internship training programme to equip them with the necessary skills for their future engagements.

The Ynspyre interns were Derrick Ugwugbu–Reporter/Anchor; Deborah Johnson–Radio Presenter; Oluwasegun Emmanuel Ikoya–Disk Jockey (DJ); Ayomide Solaja–News Presenter and Abayomi Bello–Cinematographer.

The initiative is part of Heritage Bank’s determination to support the showbiz sector and impact positively on the nation’s socio-economic development.

Speaking during the handover of certificate of completion, the Divisional Head of Corporate Communications of Heritage Bank, Mr Fela Ibidapo, said as a forward-looking financial institution its strength lays in the ability to spot and mould talents into great professionals.

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He noted that the Ynspyre Project was established to train, nurture and arm young employees with the right skills needed to fast-track development and enable talents to flourish.

He urged prospective interns who have an interest in participating in the Ynsprye Project to dial *745# to open a savings account with the chance to be amongst the next set of interns, whilst keeping in touch with Heritage Bank’s platform and Silverbird Television.

Meanwhile, Mr Ibidapo explained that the aim of Heritage Bank being at the forefront of youth empowerment is to emancipate the latent entrepreneurial spirit in the teeming youths to unleash their support to the growth of the economy.

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He stated that being at the forefront of investing in human capital development for critical economy recovery, “we will continue to up our game to empower Nigerian youths who is one of the bedrock of any vibrant economy.”

He disclosed that one of the channels churned out in partnering the youths to leverage their talents and contribute their quota to the growth of the economy, was the use of financial inclusion strategy which would be adopted to boost entrepreneurship development, as this is critical to Heritage Bank’s mission to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.

In her remarks, the Head of Product Development at Heritage Bank, Ms Uchenna Mike Olisa, admonished the trained entertainers to make good use of their acquired skills.

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On his part, the Head of Silverbird Television, Mr Mike Nwadike, hinted that lots of resources have gone into the training with series of creative sessions, strategy sessions, brainstorming meetings and re-evaluation, with the aim of ensuring that the participants are grounded in their respective skills.

Also, the Head of Programmes, Radio, Mr Iyke Chinke, commended Heritage Bank for its continued efforts to empower youths in the country.

According to him, it is hard to find banks out there to give young people the opportunity but Heritage Bank has been championing it.

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