Council Dissolution: APCON awaits FG’s directive on way forward

APCON Substantial Head, Udeme Ufot
By Oluwagbenga Bankole

Despite assurances by the Federal Government of a speedy resolution to the controversial dissolution of Adverting Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) board, not much progress seem to have been made, as the council is yet to receive the green light to get back to work or any indication that it will happen soon.

The Honourable Minister for Information and Culture Alahaji Lai Mohammed in a press conference held in Lagos last month, had committed to an immediate resolution of the crisis which had technically brought APCON to a halt. “APCON Council is a matter that we will address immediately because it is affecting the job of the council,” the minister had said.

Despite the assurance BRANDINFO that no concrete step has so far been taking on the matter. Expectedly, this has become a huge concern for stakeholders in the marketing communications sector who are worried that the absence of the council is a major drag on the industry, as the reform process which was being carried out by the suspended council has been put on hold.

APCON present dilemma began with a letter dated July 16, 2015 (referenced SGF.19/S.81/XIX/964) signed by the Head of Federal Civil Service, Danladi Kifasi which vacated the council and relinquished its powers to APCON Registrar/Chief Executive Officer. The document effectively terminated the life span of the Udeme Ufot led council barely three months into its tenure and threw the entire marketing communication industry into limbo.

The argument by stakeholders that the dissolution contravened the APCON Act fell on deaf hears. And contrary to expectations that a reversal will be made as soon as a Minister is appointed, nothing much has change several months after Buhari appointed his cabinet. The minister does not seem to be in a hurry to take a decision, BRANDINFO gathered.

So for now, the waiting game continues. But our source has dismissed any fear that the FG might call for a new council, when it finally decided to allow the council back to work. He noted that Udeme Ufot is still regarded as the substantive head of the council.

Speaking recently about the crisis Ufot said, “Until this lacuna is removed, the enforcement agency in APCON cannot completely do its job because APCON runs through its council. It is run by consensus. Everything is by the order of council. Some other agencies are well represented in APCON to regulate advertising but as it is now everywhere is in limbo,” he said.
For now the waiting game continues as stakeholders are hoping that government will demonstrate enough political will for a lasting and sustainable resolution to the APCON imbroglio.
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