Lagos takes about 60 percent of the nation’s out-of-home advertising industry with 146 registered out-of-home advertising companies, being the commercial nerve center of the nation. So far, it has also employed not less than 100,000 people in various advertising and signage companies and regulatory agencies, says LASAA MD, Mr. George Noah
July 19, 2014 – The need for man to protect the environment at all time cannot be overemphasized. It is for this purpose that the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) put together a three-day event, to address issues relating to the environment.
Very topical among issues on the front burner was the need to halt the menace of defacing of the environment, most especially with elections around the corner.
Taking the lead among the discussants was the Managing Director, LASAA, Mr. George Noah. For him pasting of posters indiscriminately does a lot of damage to the environment instead of adding value.
According to him, though the future of the outdoor sector holds significant benefits, it would be better harnessed if stakeholders work closely and proffer innovative and creative approaches in dealing with challenges confronting the sector.
Noah who fingered loss of market share to other advertising mediums including electronic and online platforms as a major challenge reasoned that wrong perception by members of the public about the intent of regulators and activities of charlatans had compounded the problem.
For him, LASAA cares so much about the environment and had put together incentives as well as new innovations with a view to spur growth in the sector.
He listed such innovations to include the first water projection digital display sign in Africa, hinting of plans to designate certain areas in Lagos as sites approved specifically for pasting posters.
Harping on the need to deploy tactics, technology for human beings to live well in a less distorted environment, Noah stressed that, “It is important we exchange ideas with our counterparts in other African countries and that is the way we can make progress. We need to expand the scope of out-of-home.
“We need to encourage new innovations in out-of-home platforms and make creativity a continuous exercise because customers are always seeking new innovation.”
Quantifying the value of the outdoor sector in Lagos, Noah said it accounts for an annual turnover of N50 billion.
“Lagos takes about 60 percent of the nation’s out-of-home advertising industry with 146 registered out-of-home advertising companies, being the commercial nerve center of the nation. So far, it has also employed not less than 100,000 people in various advertising and signage companies and regulatory agencies.”
Lending his support to LASAA quest to rid the environment of distortions caused by indiscriminate pasting of posters and billboards, Timi Eyaen , an environmentalists said to have a clean country there must be some piece of legislation regulating human activities .
He said such legislation will must stipulate that any political office seeker who indiscriminately paste posters and mount billboards would be prosecuted.
Eyaen asserted that issues concerning the cleanliness of the environment must be properly regulated.
“The government and agencies like LASAA must be on the lookout for those who had cultivated the habit of defacing the environment with posters and billboards, get them arrested and start prosecuting those who deface the public places with posters.They should make removal of illegal structures a continuous process in all parts of the state and country so that anybody who re-erects illegal structure after its removal would also face prosecution.
“If this is not done you have a situation whereby LASAA will be removing and others will be placing it back on the metropolis because they feel they are being sent to paste the posters by top echelon in the society.
“No matter how highly placed politicians and personalities may be they are not above the law and they are not the only inhabiting the environment , the environmental laws should be enforced to bring erring members of the public to justice. Until act of lawlessness are discouraged and persons face sanction for defacing the environment no matter what anybody does it will continue.
“Major cities in Nigeria, Lagos in particular must be clean because a dirty environment reflects a dirty home and people visiting the country looking at how we have defaced our environment will conclude that we have no regards for ourselves.”
Eyaen who lauded the beautification programme in Lagos urged the home owners to further enhance the aesthetic of the city painting their houses.
“By the time we paint our house, do landscaping of our premises, trim our flowers, fenced undeveloped land and stop this bad habit of displaying washed clothes at vantage positions in our homes you will discover how beautiful our environment will look like.”
Managing Director of Insight Communications, Jimi Awosika opined that creativity could make the difference and enhance the entire processing, while keeping the environment less distorted.
Going forward, he identified ‘Waka Pass syndrome’, a term he used for lack of creativity, as a major challenge confronting the sector.
Consequently, he appealed to practitioners to be ingenious in their approaches towards outdoor displays as this would give clients more mileage.
“As professionals, we must introspect deeply on our identity strength and leverage it to make contributions that refine society and define the march of our civilization. This is because we are not mere communications practitioners,” he pointed out.
Jean Sebastian Decaux, Chief Executive Officer, JCDecaux Group, Southern Europe set out to highlight the impact a well-structured and regulated outdoor sector could have on the environment and consumers.
Some participants, who gave their views, described the event as a success and an eye-opener on issues affecting the environment and consumers.
In view of the forthcoming election in which politicians normally use posters to deface the environment, they appealed to the organizers to make it an annual event in the out-of-home calendar to drive home the message.
According to Benjamin Apresai, a participant from Delta State, LASAA must be commended for its high-level of professionalism in staging world-class events geared towards having serene beautiful environment.
He noted they pulled it off through the successful organization of two editions of the annual Lagos Countdown and the maiden edition of the African Outdoor Advertising Conference and Exhibition.
“ I sincerely hope it would be sustained and made an annual event as this would serve as a platform for we practitioners to chart the way forward for our profession,” he said.
Edited by Emmanuel Thomas
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