The Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria, (OAAN), as part of activities to mark its 100 years, honoured its past leaders for their selfless services especially for working hard to sustain the association for these years in business.
The event which was tagged NIGHT OF LEGENDS was held at the Lagos Country Club on Wednesday, December 10, 2020 and according to the organizers was to appreciate those that have brought the Outdoor Association to its enviable heights today.
Welcoming guests to the event, OAAN President, Chief Emmanuel Ajufo said that over the years, the association have rewarded partners through Poster Awards but it is also important to look inwards and appreciate those that have contributed to the development of the sector over the years.
“We recognize the modern-day challenges to our business but without the selfless services of our past leaders, we probably will not be in a position to remain in business today. Therefore it is in recognition of their selfless service that we are here today.”
He added that expectedly, with close to 100 years of the association’s existence, the Association should have numerous heroes and “indeed we do have quite a number of them but we have to start from somewhere and that is why we are starting with three of our heroes, Chief Foluso Babu Akinbobola, former President and former Board of Trustees, High Chief (Dr.) Jas Kolawole Oyekan former President and Former BOT Chairman and Pa Simeon Olaghere, First President, First BOT Chairman for their foresights and quality leadership.
He explained further that the NITE OF LEGENDS AWARDS will now form part of the Association biannual functions.
“We hope this recognition will further encourage our good people to offer their time and resources for the growth of the Association adding that while the Association is celebrating, networking and relaxing, there is need to constantly remind themselves of those present- and modern-day challenges facing the sector.
“I assure you our stakeholders that we are not resting on our oars, but exploring ways to surmount such challenges”, he said.
“Similarly, this social networking event affords us the opportunity to have our Stakeholders, Regulators, and Clients in one place to appeal to them, to join us in creating a sustainable out-of-Home industry, he explained’.
He added that on the part of the Regulators, the Association need them to intervene on the issue of debts placed on members. This, he said are largely debts from the charges on vacant sites.
The President also said that a drastic reduction of rates will greatly encourage small businesses to their platforms, and this might just be the stimulus for the much-needed economic recovery.
Urging the new Registrar of Advertising Practitioners of Nigeria, (APCON) to help enforce laws guiding the practice of advertising in the country, Ajufo said one area the Association is particular about is with the Corporate License regime which according to him will be very good if enforced.
The chairman of the occasion, Dr. Biodun Shobanjo commended the Association for organizing the event adding that truly the three awardees are indeed worthy of the awards.
He said this has indeed shown the commitment of the Association to take the sector to greater height.
Shobanjo however said looking inwards, the Out-of-Home advertising is not there yet until they begin to use digitalization the way it should be done.
“There are still miles to be covered and I know you are able and capable of getting there but you just need to open your eyes, match up to what is happening around the world and bring it here because with the proper use of digitalization the industry will get there soon”, he said.
He also advised practitioners in the sector to decongest Lagos State by moving out of the state because with everyone staying in the state alone it has reduced representation in other states which according to him are viable to their business too.
“As somebody looking from outside, I don’t think there is enough representation of your industry outside Lagos in the real sense of it. There is a lot of congestion going on in Lagos, maybe because it is near your office but you need to go out and except you go out and take your client to come along with you, you will not be able to reap the benefits that awaits you in other states.
“Lagos is not Nigeria and you cannot not only go to Abuja and Port Harcourt alone, you need to explore other places because one of the things I discovered since I retired and started travelling around was that most Outdoor advertising agencies outside Nigeria placed their sites outside their state capitals because they have the space, they have the location to do that and this is bringing in a lot of money for them.
The Registrar, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo in his remarks assured the association of the Council’s support saying APCON is set out to establish standard of practice that will ensure sustainability and more business creations among APCON stakeholders in the industry.
The Managing Director, Lagos State Signage Agency, (LASAA), Prince Adedamola Docemo also on his part said despite the challenges this year, there is the need to continue to see opportunities in the industry.
He assured the Association of positive partnership that will move the outdoor advertising sector forward despite all challenges.
“I want to assure you that our agency will continue to create an enabling environment for all players in the outdoor advertising industry,” he said.
Chief Foluso Akinbobola in his speech said telling the story of OAAN is relating a story of an industry group that has seen more tribulations than any other sectoral group but which have steadily withstood the vagaries of existence and which had a story to tell.
“My expectation is that years to come, when our story is being told again, whatever I may be able to tell today would form sub-topics for the tellers of that time and I am convinced that the story would be better then.”
He thanked the Association for the award and urging them to keep the flag flying by working collectively to make the sector more viable to the economy of the country.
Chief Akinbobola was the main awardee at the event while the other two, High Chief Oyekan and Pa Olaghere received special posthumous in recognition of their services to the Association.