|Mr. Yinka Adepoju, Director General Oyo State Signage and Advertisment Agency (OYSAA), addressing stakeholders at the first Stakeholders’ Forum of the Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OYSAA) which took place in Ibadan, Nigeria recently. Below is the DG`s speech|
``It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the first Stakeholders’ Forum of the Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OYSAA). I also thank you for your support and encouragement since the inauguration of this Agency. As you are probably aware, It is a New Dawn in Oyo State as the entire Outdoor Space which is directly under our control shall be totally re-planned and re-engineered for mutual profitability.
With this maiden interface today, I believe a partnership has been struck to continue to work together in harmony to realize the ideal International Standard and World Class Out-of-Home Advertising and Signage practice in Oyo State. The citizens of Oyo State deserve the best and the government led by our amiable and progressive Governor Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi is determined to do just that.
At this juncture, it is pertinent to formally introduce the newly created Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OYSAA), which by the grace of God, was established by law, to regulate and control outdoor advertising practice in the State. It is now an offence punishable under law to practice outdoor advertising in the State without being duly registered by the Agency.
Our major goal is to transform the state in such a way that it will attract investors, advertisers in addition to promoting economic activities with a view to creating win-win situation for regulators and operators in Oyo State.
By the grace of God, as the pioneer Director General of OYSAA, the mandate I have backed up by law is to supervise an agency which among other functions will:
· Control outdoor structures to be used for signage and advertisement, issue licenses and permits for the construction, placement of outdoor structures and promotional activities in any part of the State;
· Protect the environment from adverse environmental impacts caused by visual blights;
· Control the number, size and locations of Outdoor structures;
· Ensure the Outdoor structures are sound and carefully designed, erected, modified, maintained or removed when no longer in use to avoid damage to lives and properties;
· Ensure outdoor structures are compatible with surrounding land uses and environment and further ensure the beautification of the immediate surrounding and vicinity of the advertisement;
· Ensure that our streets are well lit by providing street light poles on all major roads within the state; and
· Control the pasting and display of posters and banners on public structures and highways.
Indeed, OYSAA’s vision is to be in the forefront and a role model in signage control, outdoor management, civic beautification and bumper harvest in terms of revenue generation to carry out developmental projects in the State.
As it is clearly stated in our previous correspondences, the deplorable state of many billboards and signs on our highways is something to worry about. We are not happy that a good percentage of billboard structures are displaying torn posters, some of them are already dilapidated, some are completely broken down while some are with faded posters.
You will agree with me that before now, the state of outdoor boards in Oyo State was nothing to write home about because of the indiscriminate way of erecting boards which had little or no consideration for order, public safety and aesthetic beauty of the environment.
In line with the Transformation and Restoration Agenda of the Governor Ajimobi led administration, what we are doing and by the grace of God shall continue to do is to change the face of outdoor practice throughout the length and breadth of the State. We cannot continue with the haphazard erection of billboards and signs of all forms as it were.
Permit me, however, to say that to achieve this novel trend, we need you as much as you need us and the way our program is structured is such that will not edge out any practitioner or advertiser of business. Meaning, there will not be wholesale destruction or removal of boards but well organized and effective sanitization in order to de-cluster our roads of cluttered billboards.
This thinking has already been demonstrated in the sanitization exercise the agency had carried out in the last couple of weeks with focus on fallen billboards, badly positioned boards and illegally placed billboards in various parts of Ibadan, the capital city. The next step that will be embarked upon concurrently as the sanitization team moves to other parts of the state is the enumeration of billboards and signs to determine what is left in terms of:
· First Party Signage
· Second Party Signage
· Third Party Signage
· Mobile and Kiosks Adverts
To drive this enumeration exercise, I am happy to inform you that, the Agency had organized one-week training exercise for 50 cadets of the YES-O seconded to the Signage Agency from the Oyo State Road Traffic Management Authority (OYRTMA). I am also delighted that the cadets have shown tremendous capacity for their new assignment as they have taken up the challenge of turning around the outdoor advertising scene in the State. Arrangements have been concluded to train another batch of YES-O cadets who will join our work force as Enumerators.
At OYSAA, we see this assignment as a ‘silent revolution’ to make Oyo State outdoor space beautiful, decent and conducive, and I would like to solicit your support to join the Transformation Train in order to achieve an unparalleled success in this herculean task of turning around the outdoor scene in the State. This mission must be accomplished.
The enumeration exercise will form the database for the Agency as a proper audit of all categories of signs and billboards which will detail out the advertisement on the structures, areas where the hoardings are located, condition of the structures and other related matters.
So far we have discovered that majority of practitioners and advertisers have outstanding bills for 2 to 3 years i.e 2010-2012. We expect that such out standings will be immediately cleared by affected practitioners after this family meeting while practitioners will pick up registration forms in which pictorial sites list of all boards in Oyo State will be attached for registration purposes by the Agency. Any board that is not listed within the next 21 days shall be removed at the expense of the owner.
Let me reassure Stakeholders and the general public that, with this new initiative, there would be provision of limitless opportunities for Outdoor growth in Oyo State and a level playing field for all who want to practice in the State.
Distinguished stakeholders of out-of-home media in Oyo State, the notice to put new erection or installation of billboards and signs on hold, which the Agency circulated recently, is to ensure that everybody is carried along in the actualization of our mandate as a new order of what the Outdoor Space in Oyo State will look like will be unveiled at today’s Stakeholder’s forum.
Like other regulatory agencies, our task is huge and challenging. This is why your understanding and support are important. On our part, we are ever ready to listen to your inputs on how best to achieve the Agency’s goal of creating a world-class signage and outdoor advertising environment in Oyo State. You will please note that any idea, contribution and suggestion that cannot be taken at this meeting for exigencies of time can be send to our Office as memoranda while such will be considered on their merits.
Finally, I would like to thank all the stakeholders for your collective and individual contributions. We are motivated by our mission and our vision. I hope we will have a productive and inspiring deliberation.``