APCON Chairmanship: Advertising Practitioners Rejects Ngozi Emioma

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By Oriade Ayomide

Nigerian Advertising practitioners under the aegis of Head of Advertising Sectorial Group (HASG) have pleaded with President Goodluck Jonathan to rescind the appointment of Prince Ngozi Emioma as the new Chairman of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, APCON and dissolve the illegal council constituted for APCON.

The body made the call at a press conference held on Wednesday at the AAAN Secretariat in Ikeja Lagos.

L-R  Kachi Onubogu, representing ADVAN President,  Kelechi Nwosu AAAN President,  Mr Charles Chijide, President (OAAN) and Dr. Ken Onyeali Ikpe Vice President of (MIPAN)
L-R Kachi Onubogu, representing ADVAN President, Kelechi Nwosu AAAN President, Mr Charles Chijide, President (OAAN) and Dr. Ken Onyeali Ikpe Vice President of (MIPAN)

 

In a joint statement signed by the presidents of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) and Chairman Broadcasting organization of Nigeria (BON), the body maintained that the appointment of Emioma contradicts the law guiding membership of APCON and that the present council was also constituted in error.

As stipulated in the Nigerian Advertising Laws, Rules and Regulations Act of1988 (as amended) the council shall consist of:

  • A chairman who shall be a distinguished fellow of the profession to be appointed by the president.
  • Seven persons shall be appointed by the minister, one of whom shall be from the ministry and others from amongst interests in the field of advertising which, in the opinion of the minister ought to be adequately represented
  • Ten persons to be elected by the Association of Advertising Practitioners of Nigeria (now AAAN)
  • Two persons to represent institutions of higher learning in Nigeria offering courses leading to an approved qualification to be appointed by the Minister in rotation, so that the two persons shall not come from the same institution

It would be recalled that the federal government in September 2013 announced the reconstruction of the federal boards of parastatals and regulatory bodies during which a new Council was announced for APCON.

Minister of information Labaran Maku while addressing Journalists at the annual congress of AAAN in July, admitted that due process had been violated in the APCON Chairmanship issue. In his exact words: “Definitely as you are aware, there has been some mistakes because the law is very clear on who becomes the APCON chairman, it is a specific professional board. We are sorting it out.” Unfortunately, nothing has changed since then.

Speaking on why it has taken the body a while to publicise the issue, AAAN President, Kelechi Nwosu explained that the body through its secretariat has tried to deliberate the issue with the federal government for about twelve months now, but all their efforts have yielded no positive result, as the federal government has refused to reply their correspondence.

The body said it conducted an investigation into the issue and its findings indicated that the process leading to the appointment of the APCON Chairman and council did not conform to the stipulated law. “ Our investigation and findings have confirmed that the council purportedly appointed and headed by a certain Prince Ngozi Emioma does not conform to the law guiding APCON. Prince Emioma and the other members of this Council are not qualified to be on the APCON Council, as none of them fulfills the expectations of the APCON Law,”the statement said.

The body therefore called on the President who they believe has a penchant of adhering to the rule of law, to correct the anomaly and let APCON function in accordance to the laws that set it up, stressing that allowing ineligible persons to run the affairs of such a sensitive council like APCON could bring the industry to comatose.   “We would like to use this opportunity to appeal to Mr. President to please formally rescind the purported appointment of Mr. Ngozi Emioma and his team.  APCON should be allowed to function according to the laws that set it up.

“APCON’s role as a federal regulator is so critical in being a professional watch-dog that monitors what type of advertisements are exposed to Nigerians. To allow unregistered practitioners to take over the management of the council will be illegal and counter-productive.”

The APCON Chairmanship issue has dragged since the tenure of the Council led by Lolu Akinwunmi elapsed on September 27, 2013.It was gathered that the former council submitted six names, all of whom are fellows of the profession to the minister of information to pick one person to serve as chairman. But the Presidency ignored the list by appointing Emioma.

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