By Princewill Ekwujuru & Dotun Ibiwoye
LAGOS — Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN, and the Advertisers Association of Nigeria, ADVAN, have agreed to strengthen the Audit Bureau of Circulation, ABC, as NPAN plans five per cent cover price increase yearly.
The ABC is a committee set up to look into the circulation and audience readership survey of newspapers and provide data on their performances in the market, which will form the basis for advert placement in newspaper houses.
Speaking, weekend, at a meeting between NPAN and ADVAN in Lagos, Kola Oyeyemi, ADVAN president, said before now, both parties had formed the ABC committee to look into the issues of newspaper circulation and readership, but the committee was in abeyance. He explained that since events had over-taken its objective, it was imperative that both parties extract whatever was relevant from the old ABC committee findings and merge it with what the new committee to be set up would come up with to form a common front.
His words: “These committees are going to come together to form a body. Earlier, there was a committee set up, the ABC, this committee has been in abeyance. They did some work two years ago, because they couldn’t go further, we (ADVAN) had agreed with NPAN to look at the ABC committee report.
“There are other new things happening in the industry. ADVAN has advised that both parties look at some other metrics to measure performance. Now, with NPAN’s decision, it’s a lot more robust. There are things that were good about the old ABC, now there are some better things seen, we can do a combination.
“So, we will be revamping the old ABC committee and linking it up with the new committee, ABC plus, so the old group will meet the new group, look at the good things that are in either sides, merge it to create a new future. So that going forward, we can have verifiable data to work with, which is the cover price increase.”
ADVAN president who did not agree with the earlier statement of NPAN’s president on cover price increase, said: “ADVAN wouldn’t agree to that, because we have to take that back to the pool body of advertisers to see how we measure newspaper performances. It’s just a blanket five per cent increase that we should factor into your budget every year. We don’t agree.”
Earlier, Mr Nduka Obaigbena, NPAN president, had said increases in newspaper price were occasioned by the economic environment. According to him, “everyday ADVAN talks to us about quality, investments, if we don’t have value, if we are not able to recover cost, we will not have the investment you need.
“I agree with you, however, that we can agree on a mechanism of price increase and we are putting it to you now that every year expect a price increase of five per cent above the Central Bank of Nigeria interest rate.”