By Princewill Ekwujuru
The Registrar of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON, says the Act establishing the Council has disqualified the appointment of the Managing Director of Lagos State Advertising and Signage Agency, LASAA.
LASAA was established in 2006 to regulate outdoor advertising and signage displays in the state, but is now on war path with APCON over alleged attempt to usurp some of the statutory functions of the later in the areas of regulating communication contents in outdoor advertisement structures and signages.
The APCON Registrar, Alhaji Bello Kankarofi, while speaking with journalists on issues plaguing the advertising industry, said that Decree No. 55 of 1988 that established APCON, clearly states that ‘‘no person, not being registered in accordance with the Act, shall be entitled to hold any appointment in the public service of the federation or of a state in any public or private establishment, body or institution, if the holding of such appointment involves the performance by him in Nigeria of any act pertaining to the profession for gain”.
He therefore stated: “the Managing Director of LASAA, being an unregistered advertising practitioner as stated by this Act is unqualified to head the agency as he occupies the public office for gain by virtue of being a public servant with salaries and emoluments.”
He also stated, “it is only APCON that the Act gave the powers to regulate and control advertising and advertisement businesses in all aspects and ramifications.”
The Registrar pointed out that previous helmsmen at LASAA had always registered and complied with APCON rules upon assumption of office but wondered why the current chief executive officer of LASAA has remained adamant and recalcitrant in obeying the laws of the land despite claiming to be a lawyer and a journalist.
His words: “APCON never had issues with past Chief Executive Officers of LASAA. From the inception of the agency by MakanjuolaAlabi, to Hon. Tunji Bello and George Noah, the immediate predecessor of the current managing director, they have always complied with APCON laws by being registered upon assumption of office. We have written several letters to Mr.MobolajiSanusi to register but he has refused to register as a practitioner with the Council.”
Reacting to the issues raised by APCON, the Public Relations Manager of LASAA, Tope Akande, in a telephone and WhatsApp chat with Vanguard, said the LASAA Managing Director felt there was no need to have any confrontation with APCON over the issues raised.
On registration, he said, APCON should have at least communicated him (LASAA Managing Director) about the need to register even as a privileged person because of his appointment.
While denying that APCON has written to the LASAA helmsman concerning registering his membership with the Council, he requested that APCON should provide a copy of the letter written to LASAA in that regard.
On carrying out regulation activities, Akande said: According to him ‘‘Sanusi doesn’t want to send a wrong signal to the industry, where there is no issue. A meeting will be called soon to resolve the issues in question.’’