Nigerian government to empower advertising regulatory agency

Taiwo Ojedele, Lagos

The Nigerian government says it will do all within its reach to empower the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria in its effort at regulating Advertising practice in the country.

Minister for information and culture Lai Mohammed said this during his working visit to the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, (APCON) in Lagos.

The Minister acknowledged the activities of quacks in the advertising industry.

He particularly singled out the advert messages of calumny and character assassination reeled out during the 2015 election campaigns which he attributed to the lack of political will on the part of the previous administration and the lack of capacity of the regulatory body.

He said that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is prepared to change the narrative and ensure strict compliance to the basic principles guiding election campaigns in the future.

“The most important thing is that there must be that political will from the government. We must not forget for one minute that when we turn a blind eye to offensive adverts, turn a blind eye to offensive jingles, we might think it’s going to help our political fortune but it might end up destroying the entire country so, we must be very careful in abusing our powers, we must all be conscious that these powers are held in trust for the people”, he stated.

The Nigerian government’s spokesperson further said that the government is not unaware of the many challenges facing APCON including the constitution of its Board.

He pledged the government’s commitment to ensuring that those who will serve in the next board of APCON are core professionals in their various fields.

Constitutional Role

The Registrar of APCON, Garba Bello, in his address told the Minister that the regulatory body is prepared to perform its constitutionally approved role even in the face of the daunting challenges facing it.

According to him some of the challenges include the lack of office space, poor funding and inadequate manpower.

He added that the organisation will continue to groom advertising professionals through its post graduate programmes to equip university graduates with the right exposure and knowledge for the job.

Facility Tour

The News Agency of Nigeria also played host to the information Minister on when he inspected some of the facilities of the agency at its office in Lagos.

He was also at the offices of the National Troupe where he was treated to a rich display of traditional dances of the three major tribes in the country.