Outdoor Agencies, Rights Group Protest Ban Of Posters On Federal RoadsFeatured, Latest News, News From The State Thursday, January 29th, 2015
Hundreds of outdoor advertising practitioners and rights groups on Thursday protested in Lagos, Nigeria over ban of billboard and pole adverts on Federal Government roads by the central government.
The protesters are of the view that indiscriminate display of posters on streetlight poles, which are already assigned to some companies, have brought outdoor advertising industry to its knees, attended by huge loss of revenue in the advertising industry.
Placards carried by the protesters read: “Outdoor industry is dying,” “Enough is enough,” “Enough of impunity,” “No to intimidation,” “We say no to lawlessness,” and several others.
Managing Director, Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA), Mr. George Noah, who led the protest said “we have called this protest with all stakeholders in outdoor business in Lagos State, compromising engineers, architects, fabricators, printers, lawyers and other practitioners.
“We have called this protest because of impunity that exists in outdoor business in Lagos State. It is unfair. It is inconsiderate. Above all, it is illegal. We call the protest because of the people of Lagos State that we represent by virtue of the fact that the law gives LASAA authority to control and regulate outdoor business in this state.
“We shall continue to fight for the right of all practitioners and all those who are involved in outdoor business in Lagos State. This is just the beginning. We are telling them they cannot come to Lagos State with impunity and disrupt the business of honest hardworking people. They toil day and night to make sure they make a decent living.
“We are telling them that the people of Lagos are watching them. In the name of electioneering, they think they can come to Lagos; trick people and break the law because they want people’s votes. The people of Lagos are watching them and they shall decide whether indeed in the name of electioneering, they will allow this kind of electioneering to happen in this state. So, today, with me, we have our stakeholders, the outdoor practitioners who are saying no to impunity,” Noah said.
According to him, “we are telling them that the people of Lagos will not sit down and allow this kind of impunity in the name of electioneering. Impunity in the sense that people paid for streetlight poles and the PDP will come and remove them. That is illegal. That is impunity. It is inconsiderate. And it should not be allowed to stand. We are telling the good people of Lagos State to shine their eyes and see the kind of illegalities that are taking place in our state.”
Noah said LASAA had commenced legal action and shall pursue this matter to logical conclusion, saying that if there was need to settle it in the law court, the agency would, adding that “if they have sense, they should retrace their steps and the outdoors business in Lagos alone. There are outdoor agencies in Lagos State that we regulate. We have lost more than N350 million as a result of this impunity being perpetrated by the PDP. The outdoor practitioners are opposed to impunity in Lagos State.”
“They are opposed to people who will cause unemployment in this state. They are opposed to people that will disrupt their business in this state. Some of the affected companies are Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant and Globacom. They have cancelled the contract on Third Mainland Bridge because one political party went and placed its advert side by side with their adverts after they have paid for those streetlight poles. It is bad business. It is at a time when we are trying to encourage foreign investments in this country.
“They are sending bad signals to foreign investors because what they are trying to tell them is that they cannot come to Nigeria and even when you sign contracts, a government can come or a political party can come and decide that it is not about the contract you signed. As we speak, I am not aware of a single application by the PDP. The PDP has not made a single application to use this streetlight pole to advertise,” he said.
Noah said almost all streetlight poles were erected by the Lagos State Government and that the revenue gotten from the streetlight poles was used to power streetlight, such as purchasing of diesel.
He said by coming to infringe on the right of people who had authority to place adverts on streetlight poles, they were telling the rest of Lagos residents that they did not care about them and that they could do anything they wanted and get away with them.
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