On Tuesday, the Managing Director Continental Outdoor Media, a frontline Outdoor, Mr. Barry Sayer, who doubles as the President, Outdoor advertising body, was hosted alongside his South-African entourage, which include Dafe Diejomaoh, Adelaide Mckelvey and Julieah Muthama,by the Charles Chijide-led Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria and its Practitioners, to a lavish lunch meeting in Lagos.
It was a high octane lunch that attracted a handful of Heads of Advertising Parastatals, Outdoor Advertising Practitioners, Investors from South Africa and top newspaper Editors and broadcast journalists.
The lunch meeting, which took place at the Banquet Hall of the Zen Garden Chinese Restaurant, G.R.A. Ikeja, Lagos, was to allow Sayer fraternise with Outdoor Advertising Practitioners, Statutory and regulatory heads, and investors.
The meeting also offered the opportunity to network and unwind after several visits to sectoral heads earlier in the day.
Sayer advised the Federal and State Government agencies saddled with the resposibilityof regulating outdoor advertisingin Nigria to control and regulate the practice based on globally acceptable standards.
He urged insitutionmal integrity in governnance.
He further urged the various government agencies to review its rules and billing rates for if the practitioners close down their businesses, what hoardings would there be for the likes of LASAA to control and regulate.
Acknowledging the undeniable fact that LASAA has modernised and standardised streescapes, Chijide said berated the intransigence of the agency during efforts to resolve differences between them. “It is unfortunate that after series of meetings with LASAA, they have refused to yield to yeild grounds,” Chijide lamented.
Reacting, Outdoor Advertising Practioners howl in the following words: “What we don’t understand is LASAA’s motive! There is no where in the world where the government is regulating a business and is seen as an operator at the same time. This is a huge conflict of interest. Instead, the government should allow Outdoor advertising Practitioners do its business instaed of competing and hounding the industry.”
Chijide, talking tough, added: “Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by the government and its officials at various levels, for illegitimate private gain. Forms of corruption which vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement were highlighted as the bane of Nigeria backwardness, one which is evident in the running of the Outdoor advertising industry.”
Sayer urged LASAA to review the way it handles issues involving stakeholders because asides its mandate to sanitise the outdoor advertising business, it also has a duty to promote the growth of the sector without any bias.
According to the Registrar, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, Alhaji Bello Kankorofi, the umbrella body might be considering initiating a bill at the National Assembly to enhance its statutory responsibilities, thus helping protecting advertising practitioners.
In the words of the immediate past President of the association, Chief Kole Ademulegun: “Public interest is fundamental to public office and as such public duties should be conducted in a fair and impartial manner,such that same will not lead to a breakdown of trust in public institution.”