The Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) has condemned signage agencies in the country over hike in fee of outdoor advertisement.
President of the association, Emmanuel Ajufo, in a chat with journalists in Lagos recently, spoke on exploitation by the signage agencies in different states and how the practice is crippling their businesses.
“When we came on board, one of the things that we said was that we needed to engage our signage agencies more. We are professionals, but we also have the business part of us. We believe that when we continue to engage these agencies, we can learn practice better.
“Not too long ago, we had every businessman interested in our platform, but today we can count the number of people on it. Those days, our platform was the cheapest medium, the reason why it is almost the costliest now is because of the signage agencies.
“We feel strongly that the signage agencies should do regulation, regulation is not about profit-making; it is about setting standards and for all of us who are practitioners to follow the standards.”
Ajufo said Ogun State government was the only state that had set up a board as required by the signage agencies law to guide their activities.
While condemning the act of being charged for vacant sites by some agencies, he pointed out, “we have been talking about the rate that it should come down. The one that is not good is that even when the board is not occupied, we are still made to pay the same rate. When you don’t have the money, the agencies will put it as debt, LASAA will say our members have over N2 billion debt, how they came about it, we don’t know. It is most of the time the money they charge us for vacant boards.
“We have talking to the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry to have a meeting with LASSA, to explain to them the implications of some of these excessive bills they pass unto us.”
He also advised the signage agencies to obtain permit from court when trying to recover debt, saying their method of forcefully removing materials from the boards ended up damaging dome of them, particularly the electronic ones.