NBC, APCON Collaborate to Resolve N8bn Media Industry Debt


By Raheem Akingbolu

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), the two government agencies regulating advertising practice and the broadcast media have agreed to collaborate in ensuring the resolution of the age-long industry debt, adherence to advertising code among other critical industry issues.

This was part of the agreement reached during the courtesy visit of APCON management to the leadership of NBC, recently.

Following the recent visit by the APCON Registrar/Chief Executive, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo to the Acting Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Prof. Armstrong Idachaba to seek collaboration and promote policies that will improve the advertising industry and strengthen inter-sectoral relationship, the APCON boss hinted on the plan by APCON to develop a new business framework and Standard Operating Procedure for the advertising industry.

He stated that the business framework would be comprehensive and would address critical industry concerns which include industry debt, payment policy, inter and intra sectoral relationships among other issues.

The APCON Registrar stated that NBC was expected to make substantial input and adequately participate in the formulation of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the industry.

While the SOP will require stakeholders’ participation, the APCON Registrar sought the mutual collaboration of NBC as a government regulatory agency to support and ensure compliance. He also solicited the support of NBC in ensuring that all broadcast media organisations comply and enforce the advertising code.

The APCON Registrar noted that the visit was in line with the directive of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, requesting that all agencies regulating the advertising and media industry should collaborate and seek solution to the age-long media debt.

Idachaba, expressed delight at the call for collaboration by APCON. He reaffirmed the commitment of NBC to partner with APCON in every area of interest that will improve the long-standing relationship and the respective mandate of the two government agencies.

He assured the APCON Registrar on the support and participation of NBC in the formulation and implementation of the SOP. He further sought the support of the APCON Registrar on Zero Debt Tolerance policy of the broadcast media and the revised broadcast code.

The two regulatory agencies agreed to sign a MOU and work together to promote a healthier business environment for all stakeholders.

The advertising industry has over the years enmeshed in controversy over N8 billion debt owed by advertisers and media buying agencies, which stakeholders blame on weak regulatory environment.

Advertising agencies believed the huge media debt profile of client companies have been creating some operational challenges, especially those in the out–of–home advertising, electronic and the print media.

Two months ago, operators in Nigeria’s outdoor advertising industry who are burdened by the challenging economic environment worsened by the effect of COVID-19, had passionately appealed to the government for debt cancellation incurred on vacant bill boards as palliative extended to other industries within this period.