The Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency on Sunday described as “staged conversation” a trending audio claiming that the agency has mandated advert companies in the state to reject campaign adverts from opposition parties.
The agency in a statement posted on its Twitter handle signed by its managing director, Adedamola Docemo, said that it would not interfere in the business of any outdoor advertising agencies.
In the 2023 general election, the governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), will battle with Olajide Adediran of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and 13 others.
The audio, which has garnered almost 50,000 views, was posted by a Twitter user @realolaudah on Saturday and captioned “If you do not see any billboard in Lagos State advertising any other political party but APC, this is the reason why.”
In the audio, the speaker claimed he called an outdoor advertisement company to make an inquiry about a billboard in Aiyetoro, Epe area of the state.
The alleged official responded to his inquiry and asked about the kind of advert.
“It’s for politics anyways. It’s for the Labour Party,” the caller responded.
Then the official said “I’m not sure we are going to accept that. We have internal control issues from Lagos Signage and it’s becoming a serious issue.
“They are not giving us room to advertise other parties aside from APC.”
The state regulatory body described the audio message as a “petty conversation” adding that it is a “blatant lie.”
“While we understand this is a political season and the Fifth Columnist will attempt to portray us in a bad light for their own personal gain, we will not rest on our oars to speak the truth always and discharge our functions with integrity and absolute respect for statutory laws and ethics,” the statement reads.
Mr Docemo said the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) is the body “saddled with the responsibility to regulate advertising contents and as a result can stop any unethical, obscene advertisement, campaign, politics and so on from being displayed, not LASAA.
“Our Agency does not interfere in the business of outdoor advertising agencies in any way. It is therefore, a common practice in the industry that any contract to display political campaigns is at the discretion of the outdoor advertisement agency that owns the billboard structure and the advertiser.
“For the purpose of clarity, this is the season for moresales within the industry and it is the income made by the owners, their financial obligation to LASAA will be settled.
“We only issue permits on regulated billboard structures and not the advertisements displayed on them. Anyone with proof to show that we gave such …instruction in the audio should bring it to our attention immediately.”
In July, Mr Adediran also accused the state government of pulling down his campaign billboards and posters.
But the agency’s spokesperson quickly debunked his claims as false.
Support PREMIUM TIMES’ journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie – +2348098788999