APCON was never intended to be a Government parastatal — Odunsi

By Zion Rufus

Political icon and one of Nigeria’s leading lights in advertising, Akin Odunsi has shared that the founding fathers of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), now Advertising Registered Council of Nigeria (ARCON), never intended the professional association to become a government regulatory body.

While delivering his remark at the ARCON discussion on Political Advertising, Odunsi submitted: “I particularly appreciate you all for the efforts by our new and grounded Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), even though that sounds like it is now a government parastatal. When the founders of APCON started, I don’t think we intended it to be a government regulatory body. Our intention, then, was that we will set up an advertising practitioners council and get an enabling law with the way(as it were); we give it support, we give it backing, and occasionally the grants from the government. That way, we would have been a professional body just like we have with the Nigerian Bar Association, and the other bodies.”

It should be recalled that the Nigerian President, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the ARCON bill into law, which seeks to allow the advertising regulatory agency to operate as the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) in line with its mandate of regulating the advertising industry in Nigeria. The bill recognises ARCON as the apex authority for the Nigerian advertising industry. By this signing, it is the statutory responsibility of ARCON to make provision for the regulation and control of advertising in all its ramifications and create the Advertising Offences Tribunal among other powers.

In furtherance of his stance, Odunsi continued: “Anyway, we have come a long way. At the appropriate time, I will get to know more about ARCON, and it will be a pleasure. But as it is, it is here, and it is now a regulatory body, and the budget must be directed to the National Assembly every year; and we know what it means to be a government organ. But I think the Director General is an experienced advertising abilitator.”

To the DG he said: “Thank you for your unrelenting efforts to improve the advertising practice in Nigeria.”


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