Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency on Monday said candidates of all the 18 registered political parties are free to place their campaign materials on billboards in the state.
The agency had been under pressure after allegations emerged that it had warned owners of billboards to provide them to only candidates of the All Progressives Congress.
Specifically, the Labour Party and Peoples Democratic Party had complained that the agency had barred them from mounting their campaign materials on billboards or posters in Lagos State.
The alleged directive is the subject of an enquiry via a viral audio phone conversation between an unidentified party official and an employee of a advertising agency.
However, LASAA in a series of tweets said billboard operates are free to make them available to candidates of all political parties.
It also described the phone conversation as “staged.”
It said: “”Following our review of the audio in circulation which sounded staged, ordinarily, LASAA will not respond to such petty conversation but it is important to reassure our stakeholders and members of the general public that we are an institution governed by rules and professional standards of practice.
While we understand this is a political season and Fifth Columnist will attempt to portray us in a bad light for their own personal gain, we will not rest on our oars to speak the truth
always and discharge our functions with integrity and absolute respect for statutory laws and ethics.
We wish to vehemently debunk the contents of the audio recording against our Agency that is in circulation as a blatant lie and a staged conversation.
As citizens, we must continue to act responsibly and disassociate ourselves from elements disguising as purveyors of truth on social media platforms.
It is important to remind the general public that, Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) is the body saddled with the
responsibility to regulate advertising contents, and, as a result can stop any unethical, obscene advertisement, campaign, politics and so on from being displayed, not LASAA.
Our Agency does not interfere in the business of outdoor advertising agencies in any way. It
is, therefore, a common practice in the industry that any contract to display political campaigns is at the discretion of the outdoor advertisement agency that owns the billboard structure and the advertiser.
For the purpose of clarity, this is the season for more sales within the industry and it is the income made by the owners, their financial obligation to LASAA will be settled.
We only issue permit on regulated billboard structures and not the advertisements displayed on them. Anyone with proof to show that we gave such
instruction in the audio should bring it to our attention immediately.
Members of the public are advised to kindly, disregard the audio in circulation and be watchful of fake news.