Ondo licenses 49 firms for revenue generation, signage, beautification
ONDO State Government has engaged the services of 49 registered companies to begin the aesthetic beautification of the state and ensure all advertisement conform to the existing laws of the land.
In his inaugural address in Akure, Chairman of Ondo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OSSAA), Mr. Remi Ofakunrin declared that the move was part of the Caring Heart programmes of Governor Olusegun Mimiko to employ and empower the people by increasing the state workforce.
He said the agency, which was established by the State Assembly Act in 2011, has the power to control, license, regulate, monitor, revoke or modify outdoor structures used for signage and advertisement, and establish a data-base for the operation of the agency across the 18 LGAs of the state.
Ofakunrin, who was appointed by Governor Mimiko last year to head the board responsible for strategy and policy formulation of the agency, told the companies that they are partners with OSSAA and stakeholders in the effective operation of the state agency.
“We have appointed you as agents and contractors of the agency as enshrined in the act establishing OSSAA to exercise and perform the duties which your companies are saddled with and to provide professional services to the agency at large,” the Chairman said.
He urged the OSSAA partners to cooperate with the agency to stamp out “the uncivilized manner in which the state has been defaced with indiscriminate pasting of posters, fliers on walls and monuments, illegal erection of billboards and banners across the state without necessary permit and authorization.”
Ofakunrin also advised the co-opted companies, which would collect revenue for the state government, to desist from the reported cases of financial mismanagement whereby they would not remit the dues collected on signage and advertisement from their clients to the agency’s authorized account.
The agency that is operating on the extant state law, having power to sue and be sued in its corporate name, directed its partners to report all defaulters to the office, which will finally prosecute them through the law establishing the agency in court with a penalty of six months imprisonment or an option of fine.
However, Ofakunrin tasked the companies to educate their staff on the operation of the agency, ensure that only mature labour are engaged in their services and must enhance mutual inter-personal relationship with the clients for better performance.
While speaking with journalists after the inauguration, he mentioned that the recurrent face-off between OSSAA and the local government employees, who protested the collection of advertisement rates by the state agency.
“Local government is part of the state and still under the control of Mr. Governor; it is the same thing everywhere in the country. Local government administration is under the purview of the state government. The state also maintains the same account with the local government, so it is the state that will determine how much goes to them,” the Chairman said.
He said the agency has reached an agreement with the Commissioner in charge of local government affairs, who has cautioned the local government rate officers and instructed them to work mutually with the OSSAA partners across the three senatorial districts of the state in their respective areas of operation.
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