OAAN members vex over LASAA unpaid debt

The Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria has expressed displeasure over Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency refusal to settle debt owed to its members sequel to job done for the Lagos APC during 2015 general election, 789marketing can reveal.

OAAN due for its annual general meeting in Abeokuta from June 21st to June 22nd this year, said that the AGM could not have come at the better time for the plaguing industry due to several challenges the industry is currently facing.

According to a reliable source in OAAN, “the AGM is coming at a critical time for the outdoor industry, which has in the last four years struggled for growth as a result of issues like multiple taxation, over-regulation, and weak government policies among other challenges.”

Speaking further the source said, “the more vexing has been the refusal of LASAA, the state outdoor regulatory agency, to pay debts owed the association, which runs into billions of Naira, for jobs executed by agency members during the 2015 election.”

“This has created a huge liquidity problem that has driven many agencies to the edge, and more notably led to a situation where outdoor services have been over-priced and made unattractive to many advertisers,” he said.

In September 2018, LASAA announced some steps towards easing operators’ burden in the industry. One of those steps was reduction in advertising permit fee by LASAA.

The regulatory agency said it has reduced the permit rates for outdoor advertising as part of efforts to address some of the challenges being faced by operators.

The statement read in part, “Research has shown that 60 per cent of the country’s total advertising market is domiciled in Lagos State. It is a sector that accounts for N58.9bilion turnover yearly and is responsible for over 100,000 people in its workforce, contributing hugely to the revenue of the nation.

“As such, the survival of the outdoor advertising sector is a matter that cannot be trifled with. LASAA organised a stakeholders’ meeting to address the burning issues.”

The Managing Director, LASAA, Mr Mobolaji Sanusi, was quoted as saying, “In our efforts to ensure sanity, it is important to find lasting solutions to some of the issues that have bedeviled the outdoor advertising industry.”

The high point of the stakeholders’ meeting was the formation of a 15-member committee, which has since swung into action, met several times and came up with points of agreement, the statement added.

However, some operators have disagreed with the agency on the reduction in advertising permit fee. According to a high ranking outdoor advertising operator, who spoke to 789marketing on the condition of anonymity said, “adverting permit fee is the sectoral group least problem.”

“We have pleaded with LASAA to stop charging on naked boards and also pay its outstanding debts to the OAAN members but this gesture has fallen on deaf ears.”

Again, the arbitrary charges from LASAA to local government has contributed to the dwindling fortune of the sector besides harsh economic situation in country that has necessitated drastic reduction in outdoor advertising budget by clients.