Everest Ezihe, Owerri
Outdoor advertising practitioners in Imo State have called on the state government to harmonize fees and taxes for bill board placements to ensure sanity and proper accountability.
The Imo Outdoor Advertising Practitioners(IMOP) made the clarion call in Owerri during a courtesy cum solidarity visit to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Signage and Advertisement, Dr (Mrs) Nina Nwulu.
The state Chairman of IMOP, Mr Edwin Emebode, decried alleged extortion, multiple taxation and unwarranted destruction of bill boards by several government agencies in the state.
He said there was need for tax harmonisation and a body that would regulate and streamline outdoor advertising as practised in some other states of the federation.
Emebode, represented by Mr Okwuchukwu Nnaobi, also called for established guidelines for billboard placement and payment of fees to avoid extortion, adding that the group had lost a lot of clients due to lack of guidelines.
“We want the government, through the Special Adviser(SA) on Signage and Advertisement, Dr (Mrs) Nina Nwulu, to look into multiple taxation of our members for possible harmonisation as done in some other states,” he said.
Emebode explained that the visit was to congratulate the SA on her well deserved appointment as well as intimate her on their activities in the state.
In her response, Nwulu commended the group on the visit and promised to look into their presentation as well as intimate Gov. Hope Uzodimma for possible solution.
She described Uzodimma as a governor with human face and who believed in human capital development with the understanding that when people are empowered the society is equally empowered.
Nwulu promised to partner with them and asked for their understanding and cooperation in order to move the agency and the state forward.
She said the COVID-19 pandemic had set a lot of things back, hence the need for additional internally generated revenue to boost the state economy.
Nwulu said the agency would embark on a sensitisation exercise to educate and encourage other agencies and stakeholders to work in synergy and amicabily.
According to her”there is need for a sensitization exercise to educate the people and all concerned to have an established understanding on where and where not to operate.
My duty is to ensure the achievement of the three Mantras of the state government which are restoration, rehabilitation and reconstruction,” she said.