By Dipo Olowookere
Music acts under the umbrella of the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) have rejected the 5 per cent levy to be charged on every audio and visual content produced and sold within Lagos State.
Earlier on Thursday, Business Post had reported that the state government, through the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board (LSFVCB) said it would begin to collect 5 per cent tax on contents produced and sold in the metropolis.
At the unveiling of a platform by PMAN and Lafrique Promedia, to track and generate revenue for entertainers, the Executive Secretary of LSFVCB, Mr Bamidele Balogun, had explained that the levy was to “assist the Lagos State Government in policy formulation, with regard to planning and funding for the sector.”
He, therefore, disclosed that practitioners have only 30 days to duly register their contents with the body.
“The board will advise practitioners involved in production, sale, distribution of audio and visual products to register their products through the board’s authorised agent within 30 days.
“Practitioners and stakeholders are also informed that henceforth, all audio and visual contents produced and sold within Lagos State shall attract the payment of five per cent levy on each item,” he had said.
But reacting to the issue, the President of PMAN, Mr Pretty Okafor, said his group disassociates itself from the matter, emphasising that “LSFVCB lacks the authority to impose tax and levy on citizens.”
According to the musician, the powers and functions of the agency “are limited to censor and rate films and cinemas produced and exhibited within the state.
“They cannot operate in a way to conflict with NFVCB set up mandate under the Act of the National Assembly.”
He said the National Working Committee (NWC) of PMAN “find this extremely disturbing, that the censorship board, a government organisation, will associate itself with such illegality.”
“PMAN will not support any scheme that seeks to illegally exploit and defraud musicians and content owners from their royalties,” Mr Okafor declared.
“PMAN members and the general public are hereby put on notice to refrain from participating in this questionable and illegal activity as the perpetrators within and outside the LSFVCB will be held accountable for publishing false information and fake news about PMAN’s involvement,” he said in the statement he personally signed.
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