Obiano goes tough on IGR, pulls down 850 illegal signage in 10 months
The steady drop in monthly allocations to states are now forcing governors to look inwards and reviving comatose means of generating income.
In Anambra State, the Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency (ASSAA) in 10 months has collapsed over 850 illegal sign boards for non-compliance with standard regulations and tax remittances to the government.
This was revealed by the Managing Director of the Agency, Chief Jude Emecheta, said this during an interview in Awka, the state capital on Thursday.
Reviewing the activities of the agency from January to date, he said the billboards removed were 327 third party signage and 527 first party advert signs.
Emecheta, who is the pioneer MD of the agency, noted that outdoor advertising in the state was not considered as serious business until he came on board; stressing that Anambra State had been losing revenue for non-regulation.
He said the rating of the state in terms of outdoor advertising destination had improved from eight in January to the fourth position, with the sector now sanitised and repositioned for greater effect.
According to him, “The signage sector in Anambra was chaotic”.
“There was no regulation, people were distorting the aesthetics of the state with indiscriminate erection of advert signs and the state was not earning revenue. All that has been taken care of by ANSAA.
“Advert signs should and must be paid for, especially third party outdoor signage.
“We have pulled down 850 of such illegal billboards between January and today.
“As a result of our activities, Anambra is now the fourth placed outdoor destination in Nigeria as against the former eighth position.
“Our targets are to maximise the strategic location of the state as gateway to the South East and part of the South South to bring it to the second place after Lagos.
“I am happy to let you know that the firms and practitioners are already coming in to take the Anambra advantage,” he said.
Emecheta said the attitude of the people of the state to signage matters was changing positively, but pointed out that their challenges included resisting to accept innovation.
He said the operation was going on in Nnewi at the moment and would soon move into the major markets to ensure that there was compliance to standards.