President of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Mr. Charles Chijide, has condemned the activities of the Nigerian Government and its Advertising regulatory bodies for its gross and unjustifiable regulation and multiple taxation policies imposed on the Nigerian outdoor advertising industry thereby making it the most expensive all over the world.
He made this statement at the 8th Exhibition and Poster Awards organized by OAAN at the Grand ball room of Eko hotel & Suites on May 15th to celebrate creativity and reward excellence in Nigerian outdoor advertising.
During his welcome address, Mr. Chijide stated that the industry is groaning under the yoke of uncontrollable, unjustifiable and indiscriminate regulation and multiple taxation because the government has suddenly viewed outdoor advertising as an avenue to boost their internally generated revenue.
The result, according to him, is an increase in the rates and charges of outdoor advert spaces thereby positioning the Nigerian outdoor advertising industry as the most expensive globally.
Mr. Chijide, however, noted that the industry is not opposed to regulation and sanitization as long as it is within the limits of identifiable laws of the land adding that government officials should bear in mind that the burdens of these taxes are borne by Advertisers who are now reverting to other media platforms because of the unbearable rate of outdoor advertising. He said this could be dangerous to the growth of the industry which has already recorded a loss of over 40billion naira in the year 2012 according to a report from MediaFacts (a publication on the performance of the Nigerian outdoor advertising industry).
He therefore urged government officials to be less stringent in their policies so as to make the outdoor advertising landscape favourable for all stakeholders.
The Exhibition and Poster Awards is an initiative established during the administration of Mr. Bobu Akinbobola and has over the years grown and gained recognition in the Outdoor Advertising industry in Nigeria. It was the first awards ceremony to be recognized and approved by the Advertisers Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). The first inaugural Poster Award was held in April 1997, with only 6 categories. The following year, 1998, the categories moved up to 16.
Although the Poster Awards is not yet an annual event, Mr Chijide mentioned that plans are underway to ensure this would be so. He also noted that the event has been scheduled for the 14th of May, next year.