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Nigeria: Minister Akunyili says 7,758 Adverts Not Vetted in 2008

Minister for Information and Communication, Professor Dora Akunyili, said week that in the the last year, a total of 7,758 adverts were not inspected before they were aired in Nigeria. She said although it is an unacceptable trend, there had been an improvement in the situation, as only about 2, 244 unapproved adverts had been aired or published in the first half of 2009.

Akunyili said when adverts are approved before they are published or aired, "we can actually push out something that we can all regret. Vetting is important and I don't think that it is a way for government to make money. I urge advertisers to encourage their colleagues to allow their adverts be vetted by APCON. I also urge the Chief Executive of APCON not to delay adverts and reduce the fees if that is necessary."

She gave these directives when Advertiser's Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) visited the Radio House office of the Ministry in Abuja last week. Akunyili said even though most Nigerians are not aware of the body; it is strategically positioned, as its members spend an estimated N100 billion yearly on adverts, which is about 85per cent to 90per cent of all adverting spend in Nigeria.

"For us to develop as a nation, we need to have a data culture. For example, how many people read newspapers daily or watch our local stations in Nigeria daily? Nobody paid ADVAN and they took it upon themselves to investigate that and provide the data."

“Last week, they released the results and I don't want them to bother if anybody agrees with their statistics or not. It will lead to rapid growth of media houses. Actual growth should go with transparency and transparency with good data collection."

Responding, the President of ADVAN, Idorenyin Enang, said the body is struggling with various challenges, chief of which is the inability to communicate between to all relevant stakeholders on policy changes.

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