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Assessing LASAA’s critical role in environment regeneration, greater Lagos Agenda

Cleaner environment is among the yardstick for ranking cities and for attracting multinational companies as well as investors. Ranking of cities is helpful in terms of employment and development opportunities. Multinational companies are attracted to set up their offices in the cities with good rankings. Avoidance of degradation is another benefit of a clean city.

It is, therefore, with a view to promoting environmental regeneration in Lagos State that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made Health and the Environment a major pillar of his administration’s THEMES Agenda. Indeed, one of the earliest actions of the governor was the signing of his first Executive Order to address sanitation as well as cleaning of drainages in the State.

Since it came on board, the Sanwo-Olu administration has demonstrated the zeal and willingness to enhance improvement in the state’s waste management system. The administration is resolved to rid the state of waste, necessitating the introduction of “Lagos at 4 am” operation and other laudable initiatives aimed at improving the state’s environmental architecture. “Lagos at 4 am” is an initiative to ensure wastes are evacuated and carted away in the early hours of the day as it is done in major global cities.

Also, it is important to understand that Lagos State occupies an important position in outdoor advertising practice in Nigeria, having been in the lead by accounting for about 70% of advertising spend and revenue in 2017 alone. The State is playing a critical role by pioneering technological advancement in many fronts; from the establishment of an autonomous agency for the control and regulation of advertising to the introduction of several innovative platforms for the growing community of advertisers in Nigeria. Lagos State is the commercial nerve centre and economic capital of Nigeria

Recently, in a chat with journalists in Lagos, the newly appointed Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency LASAA managing director, Prince Adedamola Docemo said he is fully prepared to bring considerable improvements to the quality of advertising practice and display structures in Lagos environment in line with global best practice and smart city initiative of the government.

“My agenda is to find a critical balance between helping the State government to attract investment to the outdoor adverting subsector and improving aesthetics and city architecture of Lagos State.

Explaining further, “my plan is to align our Agency’s policies and programmes with the administration’s agenda on one hand by ensuring that the environment is clean and devoid of visual blight by working with other relevant ministries and departments so as to create an enabling environment which is clean, safe and conducive for consistent growth and investment in the outdoor advertisement industry in Lagos State. As you may be aware, there are many outstanding projects which are currently being executed by the State. These include the recently commissioned LAGFERRY boats, Lagos Bus Services Limited, Lagos Rail Project and ongoing transformation in the transportation sector, urban renewal and other infrastructural development projects.”

On how to make the SMART city concept of the government achievable through the agency he recently appointed to head, Docemo said, “As an agency of government saddled with the responsibility of controlling and regulating the operation of signages and advertsing billboards, we have identified the need to participate in the process of deepening the conversation around the SMART city concept where outdoor advertising plays a critical role. Yes, since we assumed office in the last quarter of 2019 we have made giant strides to reposition LASAA. We are making deliberate efforts to forge a new level of collaboration with all stakeholders by creating a win-win situation where investment will grow, business will thrive and the economy will experience a quantum leap within the shortest time possible. Under my leadership in LASAA, we are introducing corporate governance to ensure transparency and accountability.”

“In order to increase our contribution to the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR in the State, we must devise smarter ways of doing business, adopt a seamless operation through the use of ICT which will improve efficiency in the entire business process. In this dispensation, I expect practitioners and partners to conduct their businesses with a mindset of a smarter future, he added.

Based on his background in outdoor advertising technologies, Prince Docemo encourages investment in outdoor advertising where billboards will not only display brands but also carry out diverse functionalities like collecting data, supporting intelligence for the industry on traffic count, audience measurement, as well as the security architecture.

Apart from being a regulator, the agency must give back of to the community, and the new agency head confirmed that as part of its CSR initiative, LASAA engages in corporate philanthropy by means of sponsoring events that promote social causes like breast cancer, walk against domestic violence, sporting events etc. by giving discounts or sometimes wave applicable fees completely for the display of advertising materials. As regulators, we must always find a balance between regulation and revenue and I think it is important for practitioners to make our job easier by paying amount due based on approvals,” he advised.

 

Olawole Ademola

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