Senate, APCON Agree on Poor Budgetary Allocation

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Raheem Akingbolu

Things may look up for the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), in the area of funding if the Senate Committee on Information fulfills its promise to pursue the possibility of increasing the budgetary allocation meant for the council.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Senator Suleiman Adoke, who led other committee members to APCON Secretariat in Lagos, expressed concern about the way the council is being starved of fund. He advocated for an increased budgetary allocation for the regulatory body to enable it meet and deliver on its mandate as an industry watchdog, and also carry out more research into the sector.

While pointing out the contribution of effective advertising to healthy living and sane society, he said consumers would be at the receiving end if APCON is not well equipped to vet advertising materials before they are exposed.

“Advertising is important to economic growth because it is a platform through which brands and products can be built. As a nation, Nigeria needs advertising; both for destination branding and marketing of our potentials. It is unfortunate therefore that things are this bad but we will table APCON’s case before the national assembly to address the issue, especially as it concerns the withheld allocation of the council and possibility of reviewing the current status of its funding.”

Another member of the committee, Senator Dino Melaye, urged APCON to itemise its demand and send it to the national assembly. He argued that most parastatals are suffering because they don’t know the right way to channel their challenges.

“Many parastatals find it difficult to approach the national assembly because of the fiat given by the office of the secretary general of the federation during the military regime that every financial issue should go through the office of budget and planning. Unfortunately, that does not work in a democratic certain.”

According to him, the national assembly has the power to pass a proposal from any government pararastal into law. He added that if the general house seems to be busy to handle the situation, it will then be forwarded to the committee that is related with the issues.

Earlier, Registrar and Chief Executive officer of the Council, Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi had expressed displeasure over the council inability to function properly as a result of its withheld budgetary allocation by the federal government.

Kankarofi lamented that out of allocated N18million, the Council has only received the sum total of N7.8million in 2016. He stated that the council is heavily underfunded, a situation, which according to him has hindered its operation.

The registrar added that, APCON is planning to send a bill to the national assembly this week to itemise its numerous challenges over the years, which include; budget deficiency and breaching of APCON laws.