The Registrar of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Alhaji Bello Kankarofi has expressed its displeasure over what he termed ‘lack of attention and neglect’ of the advertising industry by the government. Speaking on behalf of the Council, the Registrar also intimated the Minister of Information, Senator Akwashiki and her entourage on the achievements, challenges and prospects of advertising in Nigeria. The Minister of Information was on a familiarization tour to APCON house recently.
Kankarofi, who applauded the decision to visit APCON, also remarked that this step demonstrates her passion for effective regulation for advertising communication in Nigeria. ‘‘There is no gainsaying the fact that advertising serves as the oil that lubricates the economy. A thriving advertising environment gives impetus to a flourishing economy, expands the frontiers of enterprise and enables the harnessing of opportunities in all sectors of the economy.
[ad id=”187″]Established by law to regulate and control the practice of advertising in all aspects and ramifications, Kankarofi avers that APCON has not received the level of attention and support by the government which is required for its effective performance as a regulator of such a critical function as commercial communication.
The Registrar also complained about the recent unrestrained breaches of the Code of Advertising by politicians and the mass media during electioneering campaigns. ‘‘A powerfully empowered APCON would have been able to stem the tide of we saw. It is essential that before we go into the next general election in 2019, something is done to equip the regulatory agencies to prevent such decent to scurrilous communications that can undermine the country’s democratic foundation’’.
Responding to the issues raised by the Kankarofi, The Minister of Information, Senator Patricia Akwashiki highlighted APCON’s role as the watchdog and regulator of the advertising industry. She empathized with APCON that ‘‘I wouldn’t have appreciated the plight of APCON if not for this visit. Although, the Registrar had made recurrent remarks to me bordering on lack of funds; I found it difficult to believe that APCON could be broke. But this forum has shed more light to the veracity of your frequent claim.
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She said that the meeting is quite revealing because she now understands the issues facing APCON. ‘‘As a government, we are doing our best; our best might not be good enough because we are covering a large chunk of the Nigerian Ministries and Parastatals. It is becoming increasingly clear that government alone cannot shoulder this entire burden. I like the fact that you are looking at possibilities and more funding from private partners in the industry. You will first of all need to amend your laws so as to be able to hold players in the industry accountable’’.