Cinema operators ask for help on multiple taxation

By Taiye Olayemi

The Cinema Operators Association of Nigeria (CEAN) on Thursday denounced the problem of multiple taxation faced by its members.

Its National Chairman, Mr. Patrick Lee, at the inaugural CEAN conference held at the Filmhouse Cinema in Lagos, said that the problem of multiple taxation was an age-old problem that needed to be overcome.

Lee said movie theaters had to pay an insurance tax, entertainment and merriment tax in addition to the federal government tax and a few others.

He said it was too much for movie theater operators to break even in their businesses, as he praised the National Films and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) for doing its best to ensure that this problem was solved.

He noted that CEAN had partnered with a reputable company to be able to solve the tax problem.

“Multiple taxation is a reality in cinemas, we are charged an insurance tax for each customer who visits the cinema, they should be insured, we also pay entertainment and celebration tax in addition to the federal government, it’s too much for us to bear,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that another group of executive council members have been elected to oversee the affairs of the association for the next two years.

Mr. Ope Ajayi was elected as the new National President of the Association, while Mr. Moses Babatope was elected General Secretary, Mr. Jonathan Yakubu and Ms. Shileola Ibironke were elected Treasurer and Publicity Secretary respectively.

Lee noted that when he took office a few years ago, he had three goals to achieve – to provide a reliable, reliable, trustworthy and internationally accepted reporting structure.

“I am pleased to say that the comScore reporting system we have introduced meets these criteria and that the information we provide each week is reliable and used as a benchmark for the progress and health of our business and the industry in his outfit.

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

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

“I am happy to report that today more than 98% of all cinemas in the country are members of CEAN.

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

Lee noted that the association has been positioned in a non-controversial way, establishing the right relationship with Nollywood and sister associations.

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

Thomas advised CEAN to write formally to the NFVCB, advising the board of the challenge of multiple taxation, assuring that the board would quickly address the issue.

He urged all film producers to align themselves with a registered association in order to be considered in the industry.

He advised cinema operators to continue to invest in building the capacity of their staff to be able to improve the quality of service provided in cinemas.

Renowned Nigerian filmmaker Niyi Akinmolayan has urged cinema operators to make a habit of notifying film producers of some necessary feedback that could help in proper marketing of films.

He gave advice on the flexibility of Nollywood ticket prices, adding that films could have varying prices depending on the quality and value of the film.

Additionally, Keme Okwuosa, Group Managing Director, Filmhouse Cinema, advised cinema operators on constantly upgrading their facilities to consistently attract viewers.

“Improve movie culture by marketing your products appropriately, constantly painting your theaters, working on sound, cooling systems and other things that might make viewers comfortable,” he said. (NAN) (