The OAAN president, Chief Emmanuel Ajufo making his presentation.
Story by Dili Utomi
The major players in the out-of-home sub-sector of the advertising industry gathered at De Phantom hotel in the high brow Lekki area of Lagos to hold its 37th annual general meeting. The two-day occassion by the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) had its theme as “Out-of-home Business and the Nigerian Regulatory Laws”.
The event started on the 28th of July with the gathering of the chief executive officers and the representatives of the major OAAN registered advertising companies after which they had a chit chat session in the cool of the evening by the swimming pool followed with dinnertime and more chats.
The second day, the 29th of July ushered in the main programmes of the event with breakfast as early as 7.00am and the programme proper starting some minutes after 10 o’clock.
The president of OAAN, Chief Emmanuel Ajufo in his opening address stated that “It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to the 37th Annual General Meeting of our Association with the theme ‘’ OOH Business and Nigerian Regulatory Laws”. Keen observers of our Industry will agree with us, that we need to urgently address and understand the various laws that impact on our business so that we can better manage them or make conscious effort to address them”.
Some members of OAAN led by the president in brown suit on the red carpet.
Chief Ajufo noted that this was an opportunity to render accounts of the stewardship of the executive officers of OAAN to members as well as the opportunity to exchange views with the external stakeholders.
The amiable president spoke extensively on the various matters that are of great concern to this sectorial body which include their relationship with professional regulators of the advertising industry, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) as he noted that OAAN has been having a “good relationship” with APCON. He said that letters have been written by APCON to various Advertising Agencies stating that they regulate the outdoor (out-of-home) advertising industry through OAAN. He added that their relationship with the critical stakeholders like the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), the Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) and every other stakeholder within the advertising ecosystem has been wonderful. On the seemingly cat and mouse relationship with the Signage Agencies, Chief Ajufo said that “While, we do not have anything against the Signage Agencies earning income from their services to us, we should not be seen as the State Government’s major source of internally generated revenue (IGR) after oil. We believe that Signage Agencies should rather focus their minds on how to ensure sustainable growth of our Industry”. He noted that some of the regulatory agencies do not really know what they are regulating as members pay for the installation of billboards as well as also pay per face of every advertisement on the billboards including paying for vacant billboards. The OAAN president appeals to the various Signage Agencies to allow for tolerance of the billboard campaigns for votes by the opposition parties in this electioneering period and also allow for level playing field. He reiterated his assertion that billboards should be used as collateral for bank loans as he also promised to bring back alive the now moribund Poster Awards, but that it will be repackaged as the OOH Congress, Exhibition and Awards.
More red carpet picture.
The registrar of the Advertising Practitioners Council Of Nigeria, Mr Raheem Akingbolu commended OAAN for its steadfastness and consistency in holding together the Outdoor Advertising community for so long culminating in the 37th AGM being held on the day. He said that a letter has been sent to the Kaduna State government over the ongoing enforcement of its physical planning laws as it affects the industry and that they are in constant dialogue over the matter.
The gala night picture.
In a paper presented by CIC Chikwendu Esquire on the theme of the event, he declared that there are several legislations regulating the Advertising business in Nigeria. He said that though the constitution did not specifically mention Advertising in its concurrent list, but however Outdoor Advertising is mentioned in the residual list to be handled by State legislators as a practise to be controlled by the Local Governments. He also noted that the regulation of Outdoor Advertising was handled by the Local Governments untill 2006 when Lagos State created the Lagos Advertising and Signage Agency (LASAA) which has since been copied by the various State Governments. He added that the APCON act gave power to the Council to regulate the practice of Advertising in Nigeria.
Picture of newly inducted members.
Mazi Harold Echendu, a Board member of ISPON which is the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria and who was also former Chairman of the Lagos State Branch, Nigerian Institute of Safety Professional spoke about the issue of safety as regards the practise of Out-of-home Advertising in Nigeria and noted that the caution ‘Safety first’ is a term meant for every profession to take into consideration while carrying out their duties every time. He noted that part of what the various regulators of Outdoor Advertising are interested in is where you want to install your billboard for the purpose of public safety.
There were several goodwill messages from the various invited guests as the programme went into the technical session.
The gala night that took place on the day took a more relaxed and glamorous turn as the attire became less formal with the ladies in attendance totally resplendent in eye catching wears.
In an interview at the gala night, the OAAN president said that he continues to appeal to members to persevere in the practise of their progression, he noted that a new law was passed that evening that will help the practice of the Outdoor Advertising profession. Chief Ajufo said that the business used to have more people using their services, but that the advent of Signage Agencies has made it tougher for practice because the Signage Agencies have driven up the cost of doing business and putting the business beyond the reach of the average intending advertiser. He reiterated that the OOH platform has persevered since 1928 and will continue to move forward despite the seemingly intractable challenges therein.
OAAN members having a great time at the event.
On his part, the Chairman of the OAAN board of trustees, Otunba Bankole Ademulegun said that the event has provided the avenue to review their activities and chart a new course for themselves. He deplored the tendency for everybody to want to control and regulate the Outdoor Advertising business. The High Chief said that they will keep dialoguing with the various stakeholders including the Federal Government who enacted the APCON act that empowers APCON to regulate the practice of Advertising in Nigeria. Otunba Ademulegun accused the various governments of trying to strangulate the business, but also advised members to be professional and obey the rules.
Some new members were inducted into the OAAN fold and several awards were given to some deserving Outdoor Advertising companies.
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