By Raheem Akingbolu
The Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), an umbrella body of all registered outdoor advertising companies in the country, has raised the alarm over multiple taxation and regulation by different interest groups, saying that the development can lead to the collapse of the sector.
Specifically, the association said the unbridled interests of various agencies, governments and institutions in regulating and collecting revenue from outdoor advertising practitioners in the country poses serious threat to the sector, which is a major employer of labour in the advertising sector.
“Our industry, the Out-of-Home sector which is a major employer of labour in advertising in Nigeria is under threat due to the rise in multiple taxations and over regulations by different stakeholders”.
President of the association, Mr. Charles Chijide, who raised the alarm during the association’s yearly meeting held recently in Lagos pleaded with the Federal Government and other stakeholders to take it easy with the sector.
The association president noted that the industry, which used to be a support medium for brand owners in the past, was today a primary medium thereby attracting huge investments and multinationals.
Although he said practitioners were poised to enhance the beauty of the environment while contributing to the national economy, he decried a situation where operators in the industry would become the cash-cow of different agencies whose major concern is revenue generation.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), Mr. George Noah and the Director-General of Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OYSAA) Mr. Yinka Adepoju and Federal Controller of Lands and Housing, Mr. Onafeko Temitope Olayinka, had reeled out new regulatory measures aimed at making Out-of-Home practitioners to pay more for their respective agencies and institutions.
LASAA has proposed to come up with an outdoor master plan that will determine the type of structures to be erected in designated locations in the metropolis.
OYSAA, on its own, has indicated intention to begin sanitisation of billboards environment in Oyo State as it enjoined OAAN members to ensure they come for new registration and permit and licence to operate in the state.
The Federal Ministry of Lands and Housing is also making fresh demands on OAAN members as regards federal highways and road set backs.
However, Chairman of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Mr. Lolu Akinwumi, said the myriads of challenges being faced by Out-of-Home practitioners in the country have necessitated APCON to initiate an all stakeholders summit billed to hold first week of July, 2012.
He said there was need to bring all stakeholders together so that the industry under the auspices of APCON can come up with a workable and strategic road map for the industry.
Meanwhile, OAAN has filled some of the vacant positions on its executive council. These are: General Secretary, Treasurer and Ex-officio.
Former acting Secretary General of OAAN, Mr. Emmanuel Ajufo, has been elected the secretary while Mr. Femi Ogala got the position of Treasurer and Mr. Sola Akinsiku became an ex-officio. However, the position of the Vice-President and Assistant-Secretary are yet to be filled.