The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has inaugurated the Advertising Offences Tribunal to check unwholesome practises in the nation’s advertising industry.
Inaugurating the Tribunal in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister said the tribunal is empowered to entertain all matters of violations of the provisions of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria Act, the Code of Advertising Practice, the Standard of Practice and other subsidiary legislations made pursuant to the Act.
He said the Advertising industry holds enormous potentials to influence the nation’s economic growth.
“The Federal Government’s interest in boosting the role and mandate of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) for effective regulation of advertising, advertisement and marketing communication in Nigeria is built on the awareness that the Nigeria Advertising industry holds enormous potentials to influence the nation’s economic growth,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
He said the government realized the contemporary regulatory shortcomings in the Advertising Practitioners (Registration, Etc) Act CAP A7, L.F.N. 2004 due to lapse of time since its enactment in 1988, and the evolution of new media hence the National Assembly proposed and passed a bill to repeal the Act and re-enact the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria Act, which established the Tribunal.
“Consequently, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, assented to the bill in July 2022 and gave life to the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria Act No. 23 of 2022. The Act took into cognizance the inadequacies of its predecessor as well as the need to protect consumers from illegal, untruthful, dishonest, indecent, and distasteful advertising, advertisements and marketing communication directed at, or targeting the Nigerian market,” the Minister said.
He said in order to exercise the jurisdiction vested by the Act on the Tribunal, it must have persons with relevant knowledge and background in the Nigeria judicial system as well as the Nigeria advertising space, a situation which informed the appointment of outstanding persons in the Tribunal.
Alhaji Mohammed said the Federal Government would continue to support the advancement of the advertising industry in Nigeria and will ensure that being a nation with remarkable characteristic as well as diverse ethnic, cultural and religious background, advertising, advertisement and marketing communications would be carried out with a level of decency as well as respect for cultural values and constitutional tenets.
The Chairperson of the Tribunal is Honourable Justice Cecilia Olatoregun, an eminent jurist who has served in various capacities in the bar and the bench, while Mr. Charles Odenigbo, Mr. Moroof Aileru, Mrs. Julia Oku Jack, Alhaji Bello Kankarofi and Mr. Idorenyen Enang are members of the Tribunal.