FG Orders APCON, NBC to Create Enabling Business Environment for Media Houses


Raheem Akingbolu
The nation’s media industry may soon overcome issues related to advertising debt and other business challenges as the federal government has directed the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to implement key policies to guarantee the advertising income of media houses by creating a healthy environment for media outfits to operate.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known during the unveiling of the Digital Switch Over (DSO)/Analogue Switch Off timetable in Abuja recently.

The Minister in his speech said the government will also support channel owners and content providers through the implementation of the audience measurement system to guarantee a sustained stream of revenue from advertising for them to invest in the development of compelling content.

“Very soon, APCON and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, on zero advertising debts to ensure that revenue from advertising goes to the media owners,” he added.

The Registrar/CEO of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, commended the Minister of Information and Culture for his directive.
He further stated that similar directive had been given by the Minister to APCON on the need for the full implementation of the advertising industry reform guidelines.

The industry reform guidelines was aimed at creating a healthy business environment, sanitised the industry, set minimum acceptable business engagement rules and ethical standards, create jobs for Nigerians as well as encourage local content in advertising productions.

He expressed confidence in the partnership with NBC on the implementation of the Minister’s directive which will further foster growth and development of the industry.

He enjoined stakeholders to put all hands on deck to ensure the success of the Digital Switch Over project
Last year, the two government agencies regulating advertising practice and the broadcast media, had agreed to collaborate in ensuring the resolution of the age-long industry debt, adherence to advertising code among other critical industry issues.

The APCON Registrar had dropped the hint when he paid a courtesy visit to the NBC to seek collaboration and promote policies that will improve the advertising industry and strengthen intersectoral relationship.

Fadolapo, disclosed 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 not only be comprehensive, but equally 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, Fadolapo 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.

He noted that the visit was in line with the directive of Mohammed, requesting that all agencies regulating the advertising and media industry should collaborate and seek solution to the age-long media debt.