Sunday, 21 April 2013

Nigeria censors “oil subsidy” documentary

The Nigerian government is censoring the documentary on a massive strike that paralyzed life in Nigeria. The documentary features newspaper headlines, television news footage and other information widely known about a government gasoline subsidy that saw billions of dollars stolen by greedy companies and the nation's elite.
The reason for the censorship according to Nigerian authorities is that it could spark violence and potentially threaten national security.
The 30-minute film called "Fuelling Poverty" has been online for months, but only recently Nigerian officials have refused its director permission to show it publicly in this oil-rich nation of more than 160 million people.
The film, sponsored by Soros Foundation's Open Society Justice Initiative for West Africa, focuses on the protests around Jonathan's decision to remove subsidies on gasoline in January 2012. Life in Nigeria ground to a halt before unions backed down. Later, a report by lawmakers demanded businesses and government agencies to return some $6.7 billion over the subsidy program.
Ishaya Bako, who directed the film that features civil rights activists and Nobel Prize laureate Wole Soyinka, later applied for the right to show the film publicly. However, in a letter dated April 8, Nigeria's National Film and Video Censors Board told Bako that the documentary was "prohibited for exhibition in Nigeria."

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