Iroko TV

OBINNA EZUGWU

The Lagos State government has proceeded to slam 5% tax on Iroko TV and other digital broadcast platforms despite an order of the federal high court stopping it from imposing the tax.

A letter by the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board (LSFVCB), Bamidele Balogun, which was addressed to the Managing Director of Iroko TV, Jason Njoku, stated that the firm must pay 5% per cent on all visual and audio content.

The letter dated August 31, 2020, and titled, ‘Implementation of 5% Levy On All Audio and Visual Content On All Physical and Digital Platform, requested for immediate payment of 5% levy in all visual and audio contents produced by the TV.

“We hereby request for immediate payment of the five per cent levy on all audio and visual content produced, sold, distributed, marketed, exhibited, streamed, downloaded and shared across all physical and digital platform situate, lying and being within Lagos State,” the letter reads in part.

“A copy of the public notice issued earlier in this regard is herein attached. By this letter, you have been served notice as a necessary procedure and you are obliged to comply within seven days from the date of receipt of this notification.”

A Federal High Court judgment had barred the LSFVCB from levying film and video producers.

Justice Chuka Obiozor of a Federal High Court had in a judgment in June 2020 stated 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.

“I have examined Sections 17, 21 and 25(2) of the National Film and Video Censors Board Act and Sections 23 and 24 of the Cinematograph Law Cap. C8, Laws of Lagos State, and find a case of co-existence of a federal law and a state law on the subject-matter of registration and licensing of premises for film and video exhibition. To that extent, therefore, the federal law prevails, and the law of state must go into abeyance, while the federal law subsists,” the judge had pronounced.