APCON to Align Industry Review with New Policies, Global Trends

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Raheem Akingbolu

In view of the recent amendments to some government policies, especially as it related to the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has disclosed its decision to put into consideration some new amendments in government policies before proceeding with a review in the marketing communications industry.

APCON Registrar, Dr. Lekan Fadolapo, in an interview with THISDAY said even though the review was important to fully harness the potential of the industry and make it contribute maximally to the GDP, he pointed out that the review exercise which was embarked upon few years ago, would be thoroughly evaluated to be sure steps being taking are in agreement with current government policies and global practice.

He pointed out that communication has a strong role to play in revitalising the nation’s economy but emphasised the need for practitioners to play by the rule.

“Stakeholders in the marketing communications industry have always shown interest to the industry review. It was fully embarked on few years ago but due to some hitches could not be completed. Between then and now, a lot have changed, which naturally must prompt the new leadership of APCON and leaders of various sectoral groups to go back to the drawing board and compare notes.

“Just recently, federal government released a new government policy on ease of doing business and as well amended the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), which must all be put into consideration. With the new amendment, the criteria for application of corporate licence have changed. The provision for two shareholders has been changed to one and there is also a provision for liability partnership, which was not there before,” he said.

On the need for practitioners to play by the rules, Fadolapo, who once served as secretary of the Advertising Industry Reform Committee, admitted that there is a standard operating framework that guides the relationship of every stakeholder in the industry in other countries, which Nigerians must also respect to raise the bar for the industry.

“Communication is key to economic revival but players in the industry will earn local and global recognition when they play by the rules. In Nigeria, there are many frameworks that need to be put in place to earn our deserve recognition.

“Going forward, APCON will come out with a standard operating manual for the entire advertising industry that will touch on many things, including mode of contract and payment policy. To this end, I’m talking to all the sectoral groups on challenges and possible solutions in preparation for the manual,” he added.

The new Registrar also allayed the fear of practitioners over the recent amendment to broadcasting code, which appears to infringe on some of APCON functions to the disadvantage of practitioners. He pointed out that the act that established APCON and other government agencies gives room for collaboration on issues.

“While I appreciate the concern of marketing communications practitioners over their feelings towards the overlapping functions, I want to assure all that it will not create any problem. As government agencies, there is provision for collaboration and this would be fully explored. Already, meetings are going on to address all the perceived knotty issues but as far as I’m concerned, it will not have negative impact on the industry.”