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Like Lagos, Imo begins sanitization of outdoor advertising, sets up IMSAA

The recent signing into law of the Imo Signage and Advertisement Agency (IMSAA) by the Imo State Governor, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, on Wednesday 4 December 2019, has ushered in yet another vista in the number of economic recovery drive of the administration.

Industry experts in Imo State, who spoke with South East Business Hilights Bureau chief in Owerri welcomed the law and described it as the beginning of industrial sanity in the state.

They agreed that the newly-established IMSAA is on a mission to sanitise outdoor advertising and visual communication industry in Imo State.

Business Hilights recalls that Lagos State Government, about few years ago under the former administration of Babatunde Fashola, sanitized the industry and started raking in huge revenue from the sector till date.

At the maiden media conference by the Agency, the Director-General of IMSAA, Sir Okere Bidwell Nkemakolam said “IMSAA was established to manage, regulate and control the Signage and outdoor advertising environment in Imo State. This mandate includes but not limited to regulation and control of signages in business outlets, placement of billboards and other outdoor signs, brand activations and events, temporary signs, and mobile advertisement.”

Sir Okere said that the objective of the present government in the state is to rebuild Imo State and restore its past glory and create a brighter future for Imo citizens. The creation of IMSAA, he said is one of the initiatives of the present government to rebuild Imo State. He added that “the task of rebuilding Imo State belongs to all of us. That is why we say “Imo bu nke anyi (meaning; Imo is ours)”. If we don’t do it, nobody will do it for us.”

Continuing, he added that “Through its work, IMSAA will establish a viable and vibrant outdoor advertising environment free of clutter and devoid of unsightly postings that assault the decent sensibilities of Imolites and visitors to the state. It follows therefore that IMSAA will impact positively on the scenic beautification of the streetscape across the state through a modern, strategic and continuous process thus positioning Imo State as a tourism destination of Southern Nigeria.”

Sir Okere stated that “IMSAA will establish classification and standards for outdoor advertising and commercial displays and work harmoniously with all stakeholders to ensure compliance. A process for issuance of licenses and permits to owners of outdoor advertising and commercial Signage structures and branded vehicles, etc. will also be put in place.

Business Hilights recalls that prior to the creation of IMSAA, payments for outdoor advertisements and others were being collected by various entities in the state but IMSAA boss agreed that “It is important to note that with the establishment of IMSAA, payments for and control of signages and structures for outdoor advertising hitherto being collected and carried out by various entities in the state will now be collected and carried out only by IMSAA, for more effective collection, coordination, monitoring and efficient use of resources. Any person or organisation acting to the contrary henceforth is doing so at the risk of being in breach of the law – Law No. 36 of 2019 of Imo State.”

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