Outdoor advertising has done well in Nigeria, despite challenges – Bel-Molokwu

Josef Bel-Molokwu, a senior fellow at the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, has said that despite the dwindling revenue and other socio-economic challenges faced by Outdoor advertising in Nigeria, the sector has done well in contributing to economic growth of the country and advertising at large.

“The Outdoor (Out-of-Home or Third Space) advertising business is today a major stakeholder and operator in the Nigerian economy. OOH has indeed grown to become the second top advertising subsector by revenue, after television,” said Bel-Molokwu, who was the guest speaker at the 36th annual general meeting (AGM) of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), recently held in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

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He posits that Outdoor has done well in Nigeria, not left behind by other advertising subsectors. However, it still has challenges that relates to safety of sites; accurate measurement systems (metrics); expansion of business scope; investment in digital tools; R & D in execution apps; and exploration of format innovations.

According to Bel-Molokwu, the Covid-19 pandemic opened the world’s eyes to the reality of ‘the impossible’. “Who would have imagined that the whole self-chest-beating world could suddenly be cowed into inactivity and ‘the New Norm’? Who would have imagined that all business and social activities could be conducted from home and online?” he asked.

He however, said that continuity in business entails a lot of work, planning, sacrifice, sobriety, perseverance, learning, training, and much more.

Emmanuel Ajufo, president, OAAN, said Dapo Abiodun, the governor of Ogun State, has shown that he is interested in the development of commerce in Ogun state with practical steps taken to encourage the advertising industry.

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He equally thanked the governor for the appointment of seasoned professional to head the state signage agency among other things.

Accordingly, Ajufo posits that the introduction of technology to the Signage Agency by Fola Onifade, the general manager, Ogun State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OGSAA) in such a short time has greatly improved the ease of doing business with the agency.

“The other State Signage Agencies have also exhibited better understanding of our business and we hope that as we engage further we will ultimatety be seen as partners in the development of the various states that we operate in,” he concludes.

Dapo Abiodun, Ogun State governor, said the OAAN has over the years been a great touchbearer in promoting innovative, qualitative and responsive advertising across Nigeria. “Your importance to businesses, the economy and society in general can never be overemphasised,” he said.

“In view of the need to ensure a technology-driven Agency, in line with our “Building our future together” Agenda, we set up a State Signage Manager to manage a data base for all Billboards and Signages in Ogun State,” said Abiodun who was represented by Fola Onifade, the general manager of OGSAA.

According to the governor, the greatest challenge facing the industry in the state is the twin evil of cluster and quackery. However, concerns over vacant billboards have been effectively addressed in Ogun State. “Be therefore assured that the on-going tagging and phased clean-up will also solve the problem of quackery and cluster permanently,” Abiodun stated.