LASAA goes for the broke over lawsuit

Situations seem to have gone from bad to worse for Femi Ogala, CEO of 21 Century Media as his  outdoor approvals in Lagos have been cancelled by the Lagos State Signage & Advertisement Agency (LASAA).

The cancellation means that Mr. Ogala, who is the General Secretary of the Outdoor Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (OAAN), canno longer operate his outdoor business in Lagos, which is responsible for 60 to 65 percent of outdoor billings in Nigeria.

The cancellation was communicated to him shortly after he took the agency to court to challenge the alleged arbitrariness of the regulator. This includes alleged illegal imposition of fees and levies on the outdoor agency operators in Lagos, which has undermined the agencies’ ability to operate profitably and threatened the sustainability of the industry. The next hearing in the case between Twenty First Century Media and LASAA comes up in May.

MARKETING EDGE gathered from reliable sources close to the agency that the cancellation was done without due recourse to the law which demands that adequate warning period be given to defaulters or they could be taken to court at the expiration of the warning. More so, the withdrawal of license was done despite the pending court case and in violation of the need to maintain status quo until the case is decided.

Our source also alluded to the fact that the action was inspired by malicious intent, to punish Ogala for taking LASAA to court and for being an outspoken critic of the agency’s General Manager MobolajiSanusi, whom he has often accused of being insensitive and highhanded.

MARKETING EDGE gathered that in order to further spite the aggrieved  operator, and perhaps break the ranks of OAAN members, LASAA GM has reached out to selected outdoor operators whom he offered discounts and invited them to meet with him at his office.

“I don’t understand the rationale for inviting those they invited. It is obvious they are trying to implement a divide and rule strategy so that they can break our ranks and have their way, “the source said. “ If the intent of the gesture was genuine, what LASAA would have done would be to invite OAAN executive to meet with them.”


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