By Joshua Olomu
Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has trained officers of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) as Supernumerary (SPY) Police to enhance its fight against unclassified, pirated films and video works.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 14 of the trained officers were decorated, after completion of the course with different ranks by CP Ajani Olasupo, Commandant of the Police College Ikeja (PCI) Lagos State.
SPY Police are engaged for specific security functions within a restricted jurisdiction or operational space.
The Nigeria Police Act provides guidelines for their establishment and grants them the powers, privileges and immunities enjoy by police officers.
However, such powers are limited to areas specific to their jobs or professions.
Mr Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director of NFVCB said the special training and decoration were follow-ups to an earlier training for 150 officers on Supernumerary Policing on Illicit Trade, Security and Enforcement Duties.
“As part of the NFVCB zero-tolerance stance against all uncensored and unclassified films in the Nigerian market, whether foreign or local, we are working closely with the Nigeria police.
“These 14 NFVCB officers that are being decorated with ranks today are among 150 of our officers that were recently trained by the Nigeria police force.
“Fifty were trained here at the Police College Ikeja, and 50 trained at Police College Kaduna and Police Detective College Enugu respectively.
“The board is set to come out stronger to ensure total sanity of the film industry to ensure right owners of films and video works enjoy the fruit of their hard labour.
“This is in line with the ‘New Level’ mantra of the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government, which should also be reflected in our film industry,” he said.
Thomas, who was decorated as Superintendent of Police (SP) Supernumerary after the special training, lauded the police for its crucial role over the years in supporting operations of the NFVCB.
He said that the exponential growth of the Nigerian motion picture industry has also made enforcement and compliance operations of the board more tasking, making the imperative.
He therefore pledged loyalty and commitment of the decorated officers to professionalism and operations within the ambit of the law.
“The Nigeria police has been part of the reason why the NFVCB is standing tall in regulating our film industry, and we are quite appreciative of this and have not taken it for granted.
“Our enforcement raids across the country, including tough places like Alaba International Market, have always been made successful with the Police.
“We need to regulate what goes out for public consumption, as we have been fighting against distribution of films and video works not licensed and classified for distribution in Nigeria.
“This renewed partnership with the police, especially this training will boost our enforcement operations across the country,” he said.
CP Olasupo, Commandant of the College, congratulated the trained and decorated officers of the NFVCB.
He however urged them to be good ambassadors of their organisation, the police and Nigeria in the discharge of their lawful duties.
“I congratulate and urge you to continue with the spirit of responsibility to your organisation, the government and society,” he said.
The Director of Operations of the NFVCB, Mrs Bola Attah, expressed appreciation to the management of the board and the Nigeria police on behalf of the trained officers.
She said that the training had positioned officers of the board for better fight against uncensored films and video works and their dealers.
Attah said that the board had recently started a nationwide raid against unclassified and pirated films, which would be boosted by the experienced garnered from the training.
“With this training we are set to tell all pirates that it is no longer business as usual because the right thing must be done for our film industry to contribute more to our economy,” she said.
NAN reports that the NFVCB is a Federal Government body that regulated films and videos, imported or produced locally.
It is also the duty of the board to register all films and videos outlets across the country, among other functions.