By Tunde Oso

The Professional Model Managers Association of Nigeria (PROMMAN) has sided with the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) over the ban on foreign models in Nigeria, adding that the directive is a demonstration of Federal Government’s long time policy of promoting local content.

In a statement signed by Kenneth Ighodalo, Public Relations Officer of PROMMAN, the association said it read with displeasure the press release by the Advertisers’ Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) calling for the reversal of the ban on foreign models in Nigeria by ARCON after the news of the ban was received with cheers and jubilation from Nigerians across board within the modeling industry.

According to Ighodalo, “PROMMAN was not only elated by what they referred to as a much welcome and long overdue development, they also commended ARCON administrators for having the political will to finally take the needed step after decades of call by the Association to prioritize Nigerian content and stop the misrepresentation of our collective identity as Nigerians most especially as this was done to the detriment of Nigerian models and the industry at large.”

Vanguard recalls that ADVAN recently in a statement signed by its Executive Council Advertisers Association of Nigeria, the advertisers sectoral group, said that “It is ADVAN‘s standpoint that the recent ban on foreign models was not well thought out. It is a poorly researched and ineffective attempt at seeking a solution for sustainable growth in the advertising industry.”

“PROMMAN”, Ighodalo stated, “the ban had absolutely nothing to do with racism but that ARCON’s ban on foreign models was in accordance with the Federal Government’s policy to develop local content and promote local talents. We must never lose sight of the fact that modeling is one sector that employs a significant number of youths in the country.”

“PROMMAN expressed in unequivocal terms the fact that it aligns with ARCON’s stance to move the industry forward and promised to lend their full support to ensure that this decision is fully maximised.

“The ban on foreign models is aimed at growing the Nigerian advertising industry, preserving the art, creating and increasing opportunities for our local talents, especially in this critical period when there is a dire need to positively engage our teeming talented youth population.

“Everyone knows that Nigerians are super blessed and talented as far as entertainment, creativity, talents and arts is concerned. The saying that “Naija no dey carry last” cannot be more true. Over the years the Nigerian spirit of creativity and excellence has seen Nigerian talents taking centre stage in the music and movie industry, but several attempts by the modeling industry to fully evolve to the point where the profession can start yielding the rewards commensurate to the efforts put in by indigenous talents appears to have been stifled by internal factors, as a result of this the industry has lost a lot of incredible talents. This was why when ARCON initiated the move to ensure proper synergy, accountability and professionalism amongst all the key sectors it was received with a lot of joy.

“This is certainly a new dawn for the industry. It is no coincidence that the ban takes effect from the 1st of October which marks our independence day as this represents the independence of the modeling industry to attain its full potential just like its counterparts in the music and movie industries. We are grateful to God that this is happening in our lifetime.

“This was why the Association was taken aback by ADVAN’s recent press release. He reminded all that modeling is one industry that employs all manners of youths. This is the moment for the Nigerian modeling industry and we are ready to take it by force in every way lawful.

“Every government and regulatory body seeks to protect the interest of its people and this is no different in other countries that look out for the development of its citizens. In South Africa for instance you cannot just go and shoot without abiding by the laws of the land. It is a known fact that Nigeria has some of the most amazing features in the world. Oluchi emerged as the first ever face of Africa and Agbani Darego as the first ever black Miss world. You can’t tell me that Nigerians do not have the looks, features and qualities.

He said ADVAN’s call to the Federal Government in regards to the Ban was without recourse to Nigerian models and its practitioners PROMMAN considering the immense positive impact of the ban. He further stressed that change often comes with challenges and considering the far reaching advantages that come with the ban we are more than ready to rise to the occasion. We are tired of Nigerian models always getting the short end of the stick.

“Finally, we need to focus on the positives that will tell our stories, promote our people, talents, arts, culture, fashion and identity in our advertising campaign to the rest of the world and ARCON are on the very right track on the ban.”

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