Information Minister tasks ARCON on innovation, local content, job creation

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By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has urged the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) to improve on innovation, local content and job creation to boost the country’s economy.

The minister made the called when he visited the Council on a familiarisation tour on Friday in Abuja.

According to the minister, the visit is a continuation of his tour to all agencies under his ministry with a view to helping and enhancing their operations.

He noted that the ARCON Act had been fully taken care of by the government, saying that the council was fully covered legally.

The minister explained that ARCON had the pivotal responsibility of regulating advertising practices and ensuring that practitioners adhered to the highest standard.

According to him, advertising is not only business but a way of engaging the nation, promoting its cultures and values to reflect its diversity.

“ It also provide direct and indirect jobs for our people, especially on local content.

“This is because, whatever we do, we have to see that jobs for our youths are protected and the economy also goes with that.

“I am committed to closely working with ARCON to promote innovation, because it is the key to remain relevant, especially in this age and time. I am happy with the innovation I am already seeing here.”

He urged the council to continue to evolve, saying ” If you stay in one place, then you become obsolete and everyone will forget about you.

” Our collective goal is to ensure that every sector in Nigeria, not only meet the international standard, but also serve as a catalyst for national development.

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“ I encourage you to promote local content which you have mentioned earlier,” Idris said.

The minister said it was regrettable that so many jobs were being lost to other countries, adding that, ” in spite of our rich capacity which is the pride of Africa, we are still losing jobs to other countries.”

He said that Nigeria would not afford to continue to have unnecessary capital flight out of the country when its population was growing, with so many capable young people looking out for jobs.

According to him, if these jobs are allowed to leave this country then it will be a disaster for us in the future.

The minister encouraged ARCON to engage with its stakeholders, saying “the more you engage with them in the country, the better for us.

“It is better that we all come together and be on same page”.

He stressed that the issue of reorientation, national rebirth and reinstatement of Nigeria’s core values would not be realised by only one agency, thus, “there is need for all hands to be on deck.

“President Bola Tinubu is very keen to ensuring that Nigeria claims its value, so as to take our rightful place in the committee of nation once again.

“The Federal Government is here, and I am going to work with you very closely to see that this sector is grown.

“We cannot afford a situation where all the jobs that are meant for Nigerians are taken out of this country.

“ We have every potential. It is important that Nigerians play a key part in the affairs of Nigeria, and advertising should not be an exception to that,” Idris stressed.

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Earlier, the Director-General of ARCON, Dr Olalekan Fadolapo, brought the minister up to speed on the council’s issues, reforms and benefits.

He listed the issues to include use of local content, branding Nigeria project, advertising contribution to the economy, audience measurement for broadcast, measurement for other media and digital space regulations.

Others included, advertising offence tribunal, national advertising conference, issues with Facebook and Google, regulatory frame work and many others.

Fadolapo said some of the benefits included media house stability and rates review which had also eradicated industry’s debt.

The ARCON boss pleaded with the minister to inaugurate its governing council and help to reconsider the plan to remove the Council from the country’s budget.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that so far on the tour, the minister has visited, Nigerian Television Authority, National Broadcasting Corporation, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Voice of Nigeria and NAN.

NAN also reports that the minister will on Oct. 17, visits the National Orientation Agency and Nigerian Press Council, in continuation of his working visits(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Kevin Okunzuwa/Isaac Aregbesola

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