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Nigerian Government did not ban money ritual scenes from movies

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Claim: An X user @thenanaaba shared a photo claiming that the Nigerian government banned money ritual scenes in movies.

Nigerian Government did not ban money ritual scenes from movies

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Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood, renowned for its vibrant productions, has faced scrutiny in recent years for its portrayal of money ritual scenes, which some believe fuel real-life violence. This issue became a significant concern in February 2022 when Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed attributed a rise in suspected ritual killings to the influence of social media and movies

Many young Nigerians also felt such portrayals were harmful. An X post by Daddy Freeze advocated for legislation against Nollywood movies that depict money rituals. He argues that these movies promote harmful ideas and contribute to a culture of irrational beliefs about obtaining wealth through supernatural means. The tweet includes a news article from Punch Newspapers about a tragic incident involving a man named Owolabi, who confessed to killing his girlfriend in a bid to gain wealth through money rituals.

In response to Daddy Freeze’s post, Dr Kehinde Ross points out that while banning such movies might be a good start, the belief in money rituals is deeply rooted in Yoruba mythology and has existed long before Nollywood began depicting them. This implies that the issue is more complex and culturally ingrained, suggesting that addressing it would require more than banning movies.

On May 22, 2024, X user @thenanaaba shared a photo claiming that the Nigerian government has banned money ritual scenes in movies. As of May 25, 2024, the post had 153,000 views, 184 reposts, 22 quotes, 2,600 likes, and 27 bookmarks.

While social media posts can quickly spread information, they are not always accurate. Despite this, many commenters have shown agreement with the claim, expressing happiness with the supposed ban and raising questions about the future of famous Nollywood actors known for their ritual roles. 

“These people have scared the hell out of me with their movies; it is a good initiative,” Arsenal Zone commented.

Another user, Don Brainy, remarked in pidgin, “What will Kanayo, Yul, and Clems do now?”

 Therefore, it is crucial to verify the validity of this claim to ensure that the public is accurately informed.


DUBAWA conducted a keyword search on Google and observed that different news channels had, on May 22, 2024, reported that the Nigerian government had banned the production of movies depicting money rituals and ritual killings. 

According to Business Day, “This was revealed by Shaibu Husseini, the Executive Director/CEO of National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) while speaking at a National Stakeholders Engagement on Smoke-Free Nollywood held in Enugu on Wednesday.”

The statement further explained that the new regulation includes a ban on smoking depictions, initially proposed by a previous NFVCB leader. This was expanded upon to encompass money rituals, ritual killings, and the glamorization of other criminal activity. The goal is to promote a more positive and responsible film industry.

This announcement by the Nigerian government regarding the ban on movies depicting money rituals and ritual killings has been widely reported across several news outlets. According to Premium Times, the official stated that the Honourable Minister of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musa Musawa, had approved the “Prohibition of Money Ritual, Ritual Killing, Tobacco, Tobacco Product, Nicotine Product Promotion, Glamorization, and Display in Movies, Music Videos, and Skits,” Regulations 2024, under Section 65 of the NFVCB Act 2004. They added that the approved copy had been forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Justice for gazetting.

The Guardian Nigeria also covered the story, noting that the new regulations are a significant step towards addressing the negative impact of certain portrayals in Nollywood. The article emphasised that the ban extends to all forms of visual media, including music videos and skits, to discourage the glamorization of criminal activities. Various stakeholders have praised this regulatory move and believe it will foster a more positive and ethical film industry in Nigeria.

The new regulations have sparked a debate within the Nigerian film industry. Veteran actor Kanayo O. Kanayo and music legend Mike Okri have led the criticism, calling the government’s decision “a joke.”

In another recent development, on May 24, 2024, an article from The Guardian Nigeria addresses claims about the Nigerian government’s stance on banning money rituals and smoking scenes in movies. The Executive Director of the National Films and Video Censors Board, Shaibu Husseini, said that contrary to widespread reports, the Board did not ban money rituals and smoking scenes in movies and other videos.

In a statement released during the week, he said, “What I mentioned in a speech that I have shared here is the existence of a regulation (NFVCB Regulations 2024) that, in line with global best practices, prohibits the Promotion and glamourisation of Money Ritual, Ritual Killing, Tobacco, Tobacco product, Nicotine products in movies, musical videos, and skits.”

The regulation demands the display of a health warning for necessary smoking scenes required for historical accuracy or educational purposes and to depict a negative lifestyle in movies, music videos, and skits. The required health warning shall be displayed at the commencement of the work and the end,” he added.


While new regulations were announced to discourage the promotion or display of money rituals in movies, the Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Shaibu Husseini, clarified that there is no direct ban. Instead, the regulations mandate health warnings for necessary smoking scenes and do not entirely prohibit such depictions but aim to prevent their glamorisation. Therefore, the claim of a complete ban is misleading.

This fact-check is produced for the DUBAWA 2024 Kwame Karikari Fact-Checking Fellowship in partnership with Garkuwa FM to enrich the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in Nigeria.

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