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BJAN Urges FG To Reconstitute APCON Council, chides NIMN On Mass Sack

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The Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria, BJAN, an umbrella body of journalists covering brands and integrated marketing communications in Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to make it its top priority in re-constituting the board of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) without further delay in order to save the advertising industry from imminent collapse.

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In a statement signed by the President of BJAN, Mr. Goddie Ofose, the association decried the dissolution of the Council for almost two years, as the non existence of APCON council has been crippling activities in the industry, leaving it with little or no rule enforcement.

According to BJAN, as the council has not been in place, the IMC industry and several other businesses have actually suffered over exposure.

The body noted that while it is pertinent to note that though there was a sub-committee put in place by APCON set up to make recommendation for the online monitoring and regulations, the committee has remained redundant because it lacks power to go after anyone online to vet his or her adverts.

“As it is right now, both APCON and FG are losing money because nobody brings an online advert to APCON for vetting; APCON sub-committee lacks the power to go to any online to vet their adverts, because there is no council.

“And when the council is not there, business, our industry actually suffers over exposure.”

BJAN noted that the absence of APCON council has unfortunately been aiding the influx of foreign agencies into the country unregulated as such action is not healthy for the industry.

It would be recalled that in July, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari had dissolved the APCON council along other boards of agencies, commissions, and parastatals.

Prior to the dissolution, Udeme Ufot, SO&U Group Managing Director had headed the APCON Council which was inaugurated on March 26, 2015, thus making history as the most short-lived having spent only four months in office.

In another development, BJAN has expressed concerns over the recent development in the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) where about its 32-workforce had allegedly been disengaged by the Board of the institute shortly before the yuletide.

On December 23, 2016, the Institute had in a memo announced disengagement of all the employees of the institute, giving till January 6, 2017 for those still interested in their offices to re-apply.

The announcement, said to have affected about 32 staff of the institute, except the institute’s Registrar, was said to have caught many of the institute’s staff, who were actually looking forward to some good tidings from the institute’s Board, concerning the backlog of their unpaid salaries, unawares.

In a statement signed by the President of the association, Mr. Goddie Ofose, he said while BJAN warmly congratulated the newly elected President of the institute, Mr. Tony Agenmonmen, and wishing him well in his new assignment, being watchdog of the industry, the association found it worrisome that less than months that the new president was elected, the entire workforce had been allegedly sacked.

While BJAN is not comfortable with the position, the association is urging the stakeholders to maintain status quo by calling everybody back, review the NIMN position in order to avoid the incident that happened in 2003 when the institute was divided into two.

“The association wishes to remind the president about the past struggle of the institute when the federal government had to step in to reconcile the two warring factions by setting up a law that act 25 of NIMN of 2003.”

Ofose said the Nigerian brand journalists are not only members but very functional members of the institute.

“BJAN is concerned about the balkanization of the marketing institute once again. If the current leadership of the NIMN goes on with its planned retrenchment, BJAN fears that NIMN might divide into two again, a development the association would not want to witness again.

The association recalls that while the institute was originally granted power through Act No. 25 of 2003 which was promulgated into law on 25 July 2003 by former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, accordingly, two professional bodies, the Nigerian Marketing Association (NIMARK) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (CIMN) had existed as separate professional bodies competing for membership and authority to regulate the practice of marketing profession in Nigeria.

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