The Federal Government on Thursday gave the assurance that it would continue to support the advancement of the advertising industry in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known while inaugurating members of the Advertising Offences Tribunal in Abuja.
Mohammed said that the tribunal is empowered to entertain all matters of violations of the provisions of the Act, Code of Advertising Practice, Standard of Practice and other subsidiary legislations made pursuant to the Act.
He described the inauguration as a landmark, saying,” I have been informed by experts that this tribunal is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
“The Federal Government will continue to support the advancement of the advertising industry, and will ensure that as a nation with remarkable characteristics, diverse ethnic, cultural and religious background, advertising, advertisement and marketing communications will be carried out with a level of decency as well as respect for cultural values and constitutional tenets,” he said.
The minister said that the Federal Government’s interest in boosting the role and mandate of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) for effective regulation of advertising, advertisement and marketing communication was built on its awareness.
“The Nigeria advertising industry holds enormous potential to influence the nation’s economic growth, realising the contemporary regulatory shortcomings in the Advertising Practitioners (Registration, etc) Act CAP A7, L.F.N. 2004 due to lapse of time since its enactment in 1988.
“Also, the evolution of new media with its attendant capacities to foster business growth, create employment and change the social, cultural, and economic activities, the National Assembly proposes and passed a bill to repeal the Act and re-enact the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria Act.
“Consequently, President Muhammadu Buhari, assented the bill in July 2022, and gave life to the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria Act No. 23 of 2022,” he explained.
Mohammed, however, said the Act took into cognisance the inadequacies of its predecessor and the need to protect consumers from illegal, untruthful, dishonest, indecent and distasteful advertising, advertisements and marketing communication directed at, or targeting the Nigerian market.
He stated that the council was vested with the power to regulate and control advertising in Nigeria in all aspects and ramifications.
“To ensure the success of the council in carrying out its statutory responsibilities, the Advertising Offences Tribunal was established by the Act.
“The tribunal is empowered to entertain all matters of violations of the provisions of the Act, the Code of Advertising Practice, Standard of Practice, and other subsidiary legislations made in pursuant to the Act,” he said.
Responding, the Chairperson of the Tribunal, Justice Cecilia Olatoregun, said the inauguration was a bold and very progressive step taken by the Federal Government.
Olatoregun also described the development as a major milestone in the history of regulating the advertising industry in the country.
She gave the assurance that the advertising industry would work with transparency and fairness that the industry deserved.
“We appreciate the trust placed on us and we are committed to driving the objectives of the new regulations.
“I also want to thank members of the public who have raised concern about the advertising practices. Your voices are critical in shaping the work that we do and what we hope to achieve.
“And I assure that we will listen and take progressive action,” she added.
The chairperson thanked the Federal Government and the minister for the confidence reposed on the newly inaugurated members of the tribunal.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dr Olalekan Fadolapo, the Director-General, ARCON, and other executives members of the council attended the programme.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria