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OAAN To Pursue Recognition Of Billboards As Bank Collaterals- President

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The President of Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) Chief Emmanuel Ajufo has disclosed that the association will pursue the approval of billboards as collateral by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He stated this at the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), themed: ‘OOH Business and Nigerian Regulatory Laws’ held in Lagos at the weekend.

According to him, financial institutions ask for houses and other properties as collateral from practitioners who want to access funds for business growth, but the association is canvassing for use of billboards as collaterals.

In his words, “We are therefore going to pursue the recognition by Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to use our billboards as collaterals.

“As an association, we will continue to push for things that will bring sustainable growth to the industry and out-of-home advertising business.”

At the AGM, the President said the AGM apart from being an opportunity to render accounts of their stewardship to members, also provides the opportunity for external stakeholders to exchange views with members and to share their thoughts as it concerns their business.

“Our engagements with our major stakeholders are beginning to yield fruits but it will seem that we still have a long way to go. We have enjoyed a good relationship with our Regulator, APCON.

“Similarly, our relationship with the critical stakeholders within the Advertising ecosystem has been wonderful as their support in our struggles has been unprecedented. I am talking about the Heads of Sectoral Groups (HASG).

“We still count on your support as the challenges facing us can only be fully contained with a united HASG.”

Ajufo further disclosed that a lot of progress seems to have been made with partnering with signage agencies but there is still a need to continue to engage them until they see outdoor advertising practitioners as partners in progress.

“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 IGR after oil.

He continued: “We believe that Signage Agencies should rather focus their minds on how to ensure sustainable growth of our industry.

The president added that when LASAA came on board, one of the things promised was to elevate hoardings to the status of real estate where we can use our billboards as collaterals to source for the fund “but several years after the policy summersaults which made this laudable initiative impossible to happen.”

In his goodwill message, the Registrar, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo assured OAAN members of the support and the continuous efforts to develop a framework that will help the advertising business in the country.  

“However, notwithstanding the challenges they are going through as a sector, they should keep pushing as the Council will continue to support them by involving policies that will sustain their growth as well as protect their investment.

On the onslaught by signage agencies, he said on the Kaduna issue, the State Signage agency has agreed to a meeting, “OAAN leadership has agreed to a meeting and as the regulator, we are facilitating the meeting and I am sure if the three of us sit, we can look at the ways of ensuring that we resolve the issue without resulting to court.”

The Guest Speaker at the AGM, Barr. CIC Chikwendu urged the association to consider some form of independent existence for the good of outdoor advertising practitioners.

The Association was also urged to ponder whether the Lagos State Structures for Signage and Advertisement Agency Law has not taken away the control and regulation of outdoor advertising function of the Local Government Council in the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution under Section 7 (and Section 36 of the Administration of Local Government Law) and vested it in the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA).

He added that this became necessary as the Advertising Practitioners (Registration, Etc.) Act (APCON Act) which came into force on 27th December 1988, save from determining and registering outdoor advertising practitioners as advertising practitioners, the regulatory powers of the Council under the Act appear not to extend to outdoor advertising.  

“The vetting which the Council does through the Standards Panel appears to be limited to the content of the advertisement. Outdoor advertising as I understand it does not involve content development or copywriting and so has nothing to be vetted by the Standards Panel. What appears on outdoor Billboards ought to have passed through the Standards Panel before getting to an outdoor advertising agency.

“It, therefore, appears that the outdoor advertising agency is the most exposed of all advertising agencies to external control and regulation by the Federal, State and Local Government agencies and their challenges with government agencies, outdoor advertising practitioners may have to stand alone as there is no provision in the APCON Act that requires the Council be of assistance to them,” he explained.

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