OAAN holds yearly meeting, seeks understanding of regulatory laws
The Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) has said there is a need to understand the various laws that impact the industry and manage them better or make conscious efforts to address them.
With the theme, OOH Business and Nigerian Regulatory Laws, members, who spoke at the association’s 37th yearly general meeting in Lagos, said there is a need for continuous engagement with signage partners to promote harmonious working relationships.
Recall that members of the Heads of Advertising Sectorial Group (HASG) recently condemned the onslaught by Lagos and Kaduna states against Out-of-home Advertising media, insisting that the development could strangulate business.
HASG comprises the Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN), Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), OAAN and Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN)
They also argued that concessions and franchises promote monopoly and HASG is opposed to it.
In Lagos, members observed that LASAA has continued to grant individuals that are not registered practitioners to own billboards and operate, contrary to the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON guidelines.
They said this development is eroding APCON’s regulatory functions and promoting quackery in the advertising industry.
Continuing, they noted that LASAA’s plan to concession seven of the major roads in the state to bidders’ and the successful ones will own and operate franchises on such roads for a period of 10 years, which, no doubt, is a grave danger while urging Governor Sanwo-Olu to prevail on the Agency to shelve it.
In his speech, the guest speaker, Mr. CIC Chikwendu, observed that advertising is not one of the matters mentioned in the body of the Constitution.
He noted that it is not mentioned in the Exclusive List, which only the Federal Legislature could legislate; neither is it mentioned in the Concurrent List, which both the Federal and State Legislatures could legislate.
He said it is, therefore, one of the many matters called residual matters, noting that the position is that state legislatures may legislate on residual matters.
Constitutionally, he said outdoor advertising and hoarding are placed under the control and regulation of the local council.
He noted that the functions conferred on the local council include those set out in the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution.
He added that councils in all the states carried out this function of control and regulation of outdoor advertising and hoarding, though, haphazardly, until 2006, when Lagos State introduced the Structures for Signage and Advertisement Agency Law.
To him, when Lagos State, having seemingly succeeded in surmounting a legal challenge to this law, many other states copied and enacted similar laws.
The implication of this, he explained, is that control and regulation of outdoor advertising in states have, at least for the present, been effectively removed from local councils and vested in state agencies in these states.
In his welcome address, OAAN President, Emmanuel Ajufo, argued that signage agencies needed to know what they are regulating.
He said, “some of the signage agencies do not really know what they are regulating. Is it the structure or the advert on the structure or both? If for instance, they are concerned with the structure, as we believe they should be, then why do they charge per face of a billboard? If on the other hand, they are charging for the advertising on the board, where then is the justice in charging when the board is vacant? Most of the debts they claim that we owe are actually from charges on vacant sites.”