By Jimoh Babatunde
Practitioners in the outdoor advertising industry have raised a fresh alarm over foreign dominance in the nation’s advertising sector; saying if unchecked will impact negatively on Nigeria’s labour market.
General Secretary, Outdoor Advertisers Association of Nigeria, OAAN, Mr. Femi Ogala, claimed Lagos State government had engaged a foreign firm to handle all outdoor advertising services in the state.
According to him, quite a number of association members had petitioned the authority concerned, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON, urging them to intervene on sudden infiltration of foreign firms into indigenous businesses.
He said: “By our findings, this outfit, which is not a member of the APCON, has been allocated some of the juicy spots by Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency, LASAA, which is a breach of process. It is quite unfair that LASAA gave such job to a foreign firm leaving out indigenous practitioners.”
Already, an indigenous firm under OAAN, Moving Media has accused the French firm over what it described as a breach of advertising status, where the firm was allocated a site less than 200 meters from an existing site.
The aggrieved indigenous firm said a law on 400meter minimum distance allowed by advertising code must be enforced to sanitize the industry.
But the foreign firm in its reaction noted that the site in question was allocated upon the filing by Moving Media to LASAA that it was vacating the space soonest. This has been denied by Moving Media.
“OAAN had tried to mediate in this matter by trying to reach out to representatives of both parties, who had occupied the spot for over a decade without defaulting on payment of LASAA dues, but the foreign firm has not been responsive”, Ogala stated.
Insinuations are rife that Lagos state government has also signed exclusive advertising pact with the foreign firm on the ongoing Lagos Metro line project; ditto for the uncompleted traffic interchange in Oshodi.
“If all these allusions are anything to go by, then the state government has just handed over all outdoor advertising services to foreigners.