Pioneer General Manager of Enugu State Structures for Signage and Advertising Agency (ENSSAA), Mr. Ike Ezugwu has taken stock of the activities of the agency, six months after it was inaugurated, saying that sanity is already being restored to the state’s outdoor advertising space.
Ezugwu, who was appointed GM of the agency in December 2019 by the State Governor, His Excellency, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, said in addition to the primary objectives of streamlining the industry for revenue accountability, significant efforts are also being made to declutter the skylines in line with the vision of the governor for a cleaner, safer cityscape.
He said the people of the state are impressed by the efforts of the agency thus far and welcome the decluttering of streets of superfluous Signage and billboards, many of which are also constituting safety hazards to road users.
The ENSSAA boss revealed that although the COVID-19 pandemic had slowed the operations of the agency, he and his team have also been able to expedite the decluttering efforts and removal of ugly and hazardous billboards in all parts of the state capital and major towns.
“After the inauguration of the Agency by our Governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Dr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on December 18, 2019, we undertook a thorough assessment of the state of outdoor skyscape and concluded that, first of all, we needed a clean up because there was a proliferation of boards.
These included those that are in clear violation of safety standards and others that have aged and have been abandoned by their owners. Besides the importance we attach to exploiting the outdoor advertising environment to enhance the beauty of our towns and cities, we also believe in ensuring that billboards do not constitute safety challenges on our roads. We have done this very effectively and the people are happy,” Ezugwu said.
Part of his strategies towards voluntary compliance with the provisions of the ENSSAA law in the state is a continuous sensitization of the public. This, according to him, has been done through roadshows, radio announcements and press interviews.
He expressed happiness with the level of cooperation his agency has been getting from outdoor advertising agencies, corporate bodies and multinational agencies who are in the OOH space in the state and expressed the hope that such a smooth relationship will pave the way for the State Government to maximise the revenue opportunities in the industry without compromising the commercial objectives of businesses.
“Our sanitization of the OOH space is in the interest of business owners. A torn or damaged board, for instance, has a strong and direct effect on brand erosion. We also believe that a decluttered skyscape would enhance the interaction between the people and brands on cleaner, safer boards,” he said.
The ENSSAA Chief Executive lamented that many brands, businesses and institutions have not paid their rates for many years and persuaded them to comply with the agency’s call for payment of outstanding dues, adding that the State Government, through the agency, would continue to create a friendly atmosphere for businesses in the state.