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Sanwo-Olu suspends head of state censors board over 5% levy on IrokoTv, Netflix, others



The Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Bamidele Balogun, has been suspended by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for imposing a five percent tax on digital platforms.

The platforms included IrokoTv, Netflix amongst others.

The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, revealed this in a statement on Friday night titled, ‘Lagos State Has No 5% Levy on Audio and Visual Contents of Physical and Digital Platforms’

According to Omotosho, Balogun acted without authorisation and was therefore suspended.

The statement read in part: “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 five per cent levy.

Read also: PMAN: Casmir-led faction denies liaison with Censors board over proposed tax on content production

“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.”

The commissioner further said that the 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.

It would be recalled that a Federal High Court had barred the LSFVCB from levying film and video producers.

Delivering judgement in June 2020, Justice Chuka Obiozor of a Federal High Court ruled that the LSFVCB could not be collecting taxes at the same time as the National Film and Video Censors Board as it amounted to double taxation.

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