Nigeria’s Cinema exhibitors lament multiple taxation

WorldStage Newsonline– The Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) on Thursday decried the problem of multiple taxation confronting its members.

Its National Chairman, Mr Patrick Lee, during the inaugural CEAN conference held at Filmhouse Cinema in Lagos, said that the problem of multiple taxation had been an age-long one which must be surmounted.

Lee said that cinemas had to pay insurance tax, entertainment and merriment tax in addition to the Federal Government tax and some others.

He said these were too much for the cinema exhibitors to break even in their businesses, as he commended the National Films and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) for trying its best in ensuring this problem was tackled.

He noted that CEAN had partnered with a reputable firm to be able to address the tax issue.

“Multiple taxation is a reality in the cinemas, we are made to pay insurance tax for every customer that visits the cinema, they should be insured, we also pay entertainment and merriment tax along with the federal government tax, these are too much for us to bear,” he said.

Another set of executive council members were  elected to oversee the affairs of the association in the next two years.

Mr Ope Ajayi was elected new National Chairman of the association, while Mr Moses Babatope was elected  General Secretary,  Mr Jonathan Yakubu  and Mrs Shileola Ibironke were elected Treasurer and Publicity Secretary respectively.

Lee noted that when he assumed office few years ago, he had three objectives to be met – to deliver a reporting structure that was reliable, dependable, trustworthy, and internationally accepted.

“I am pleased to say that the comScore reporting system we have introduced has met those criteria and the information we provide weekly is trusted and being used as a benchmark for the progress and health of our business and the industry at large.

“We have also successfully joined international organisations like NATO and the aim is to continue this international progress.

“The second objective was to ensure that the association had an inclusive character, this meant ensuring that every cinema in the country was encouraged to join the association.

“I am happy to report that today over 98 per cent of all the cinemas in the country are members of CEAN.

“The association has also helped in setting the standards for opening new cinemas in Nigeria,” he said.

Lee noted that the association had been positioned in a way devoid of controversies, establishing the right relationship with Nollywood and sister associations.

Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, Executive Secretary, NFVCB, commended the cinema exhibitors for their cooperation in aligning with the rules of filmmaking and exhibition in the country.

Thomas advised CEAN to formally write to the NFVCB, notifying the board of the challenge of multiple taxation, assuring that the board would wade into the problem promptly.

He urged all movie producers to align with a registered association in order to be reckoned with in the industry.

He advised the cinema exhibitors to continue to invest in capacity building of its members of staff to be able to improve on the quality of service rendered in the cinemas.

Niyi Akinmolayan, Nigerian renowned filmmaker,  urged cinema exhibitors to cultivate the habit of notifying movie producers of some necessary feedbacks which could help in proper marketing of films.

He advised on nollywood ticket price flexibility, adding that films could have varied prices depending on the quality and value of the film.

Also, Keme Okwuosa, Group Chief Executive Officer, Filmhouse Cinema, advised cinema exhibitors on constant upgrade of their facilities to constantly attract viewers.

“Enhance cinema-going culture by marketing your products appropriately, paint your cinemas constantly, work on the sound, cooling systems and other things that could make viewers comfortable,” he said.

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