Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Ondo State government has announced the payment of levies by religious organisations, political parties and other organisations that erect structures in the state.
The Chairman, Ondo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OSSAA) Mr. Akinwande Akinrodoye said the decision of the state government was to ensure that the aesthetics and beauty of Ondo State was maintained and improved.
He said the law establishing the agency which came into existence in 2011 was under review to align with the global advertising trends and standard practices.
“The law also prescribes that, corporate bodies, political parties, individuals and religious organisations having outdoor structures to register and obtain permit from the agency before erecting, constructing, enlarging or structurally modifying any out-of-home structure,” he added.
According to him “the agency has resolved to bare its fangs on all structures including billboards, banners and pasting of posters illegally mounted or pasted by corporate bodies, political parties and religious groups in the state.”
He declared that all such structures were now to pay annual exposure fee henceforth.
To this end, he urged all affected persons, groups, political parties, corporate entities and religious organisations in the state to remove all structures that contravened the law.
The OSSAA chairman said: “It has come to the attention of the state government that across the state there are many outdoor advertisement and signs without compliance with the provisions of the extant law on same, which is, OSSAA Law.
“The law empowers the agency to enter into any property or premises for the purpose of carrying out inspection necessary for the proper administration of the law.
“Equally, owners and operators of existing outdoor structures are required to regularise their signage and advertisement structures with the agency and if not done, the agency shall with or without notice as it deems fit, direct the removal of same at the expense of the owner.
“It is important to stress here that any person who violates any of the provisions of the signage and advertisement law or does anything in order to stultify the application of the law or continues to be in breach of the law by displaying or permitting the display of unauthorised outdoor structures shall be guilty of an offence and liable to punishment and sanctions provided under the law.
“In view of the upcoming elections in few weeks, the agency is in collaboration with the police on enforcement of the policy across the 18 local government areas of the state to better report the activities of political parties and its candidates in respect to its campaign visibility and branding exploitations including car branding, posters, campaign office branding, billboard executions and road shows amongst others,” he added.