FG goofs again, appoints politicians into APCON Council

The Federal Government has again goofed for the third consecutive time as it has, once again, appointed politicians and non-advertising and marketing practitioners into the board of the Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria (APCON).

The newly appointed APCON council members are Hon. Jacob Sunday (Chairman), Chief Dayo Abatan, Aloysius Okafor, Sani Tulu, Akor Sunday, Ismaila Umar Sifawa and Murtala Adamu Atiku.

The appointment is contrary to the APCON law which demands that council members must be fellows of the regulatory body.

The Nigerian Advertising Laws, Rules and Regulations Act 55 of 1988 (as amended), states that a chairman, who should be should be appointed by the President, shall be a distinguished fellow of the profession.

Also, seven persons are to be appointed by the minister, one of whom shall be from the Ministry of Information and the rest from among other interests in advertising, which in the opinion of the minister, ought to be adequately represented.

The announcement may have triggered a fresh round of confusion in the industry as some of the practitioners have insisted that the appointment is illegal and cannot stand.

Kelechi Nwosu, Managing Director of TBWA Concepts and immediate past president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, AAAN, told MARKETING EDGE in a telephone conversation that he was not sure the Federal Government looked at the law before making the appointment.

He noted that if the list is true then it means the industry has again been thrown into its dark past.

“I have seen the list. If this is the true list, it means that we are back to the bad time of the industry. The law says that you cannot make someone who is not a fellow, the Chairman or member of the board. I hope the Federal Government looked at the law in appointing those people.

“If they are not members, it will not stand. It means that the appointment is illegal and it will not be accepted obviously,” Nwosu said.

This is not the first time that the Federal Government would be appointing a non-advertising or marketing practitioner to chair APCON.

Recall that in 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Prince Ngozi Enioma, as Chairman of the council.  His appointment was roundly rejected by the industry players and created an atmosphere of chaos and confusion that left the regulatory agency almost grounded and unable to carry out its statutory role of overseeing the industry.

At some point, the former President saw reason in the agitation of the operators and immediately dissolved the Prince Enioma led council, replacing it with another one headed by Udeme Ufot.

But the Udeme Ufot board only lasted three months. It was terminated by the new Federal Government headed by President Muhammadu Buhari in a reshuffling exercise that affected most of the government agencies and parastatals.

Since then the industry has been without a board and APCON’s regulatory functions have been adversely affected by the lacuna, which also stalled the much talked about APCON reform.

According to Mr. Nwosu, it may take a few days before the industry formally responds to the appointment and if feelers coming from operators are anything to go by, then another Prince Enioma saga may be about to play out.


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