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APCON’s plan to regulate online advertisements: Konga founder, others react

Sim Shagaya has reacted to the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) recently-disclosed plan to regulate online advertisement



Sim Shagaya, uLesson

Konga founder, Sim Shagaya has reacted to the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) recently-disclosed plan to regulate online advertisement, saying the move is anti-economic growth, anti-employment and not enforceable.

Shagaya who also doubles as the Chairman of DealDey, stated that many businesses will not be able to function should the plan be effected. Shagaya in a twitter post, illustrated that a platform like Jiji, which runs a business only based on offering online advertisements, cannot function if APCON decides to start regulating online adverts.

Nairametrics had previously reported when APCON released its memo threatening to take action on the exposure of adverts on any social media platform.

[READ ALSO: N537 Million Alleged Debt: Donald Duke denies AMCON’s claim]

This disclosure hasn’t gone down well with many Nigerians as well as they condemned APCON for wanting to introduce such process in the country on various social media platforms.

Other Nigerians react: Nigerians left no stones unturned in expressing their disgust and annoyance at APCON. Some were left puzzled as to why APCON will charge fees for vetting adverts on any of the platforms when they do not own Facebook, Twitter nor Instagram.

Others emphasized how APCON is set on killing small businesses with this new policy of theirs because it will be an extra burden on them.

Extra charges and time consuming: Nigerians also spoke on how it doesn’t make sense for them to pay an extra vetting fee to APCON for an ad that can be run quickly and yet still have to wait for a couple of weeks in order for it to be approved.

Nigerians further called on the federal government to look into these issues and solve them so as to prevent the dearth of small businesses in the country.

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What you should know: In Nigeria, APCON is in charge of regulating the advert space and approving adverts for promotion of products and services.

However, the regulator seems to have been losing advert fees and its authority to the tech companies as digital adverts become more popular. APCON, however, still controls the traditional media channels – Newspaper, Television, Radio, and Billboards.

 Equipped with its 5th Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice & Sales Promotion (the “Code”) effective January 2013APCON has been known to levy sanctions on businesses whose advertisements are not vetted prior to publication or exposure. Its contention has been that it is empowered to regulate advertisement in general and that any person or entity who publishes or procures the publication of an advertisement within the meaning of the Act and the Code is an advertiser and is therefore within the remit of its regulatory powers. 

But the above contention recently went through the crucible of litigation in the recent case of MIC Royal Limited v. APCON (Suit No. CA/L/1140/2016 – Judgment delivered on July 5, 2018) (the MIC Royal Case) where the Court of Appeal considered the applicability and scope of the Act to persons/entities who are not members of the advertising profession. 

MIC, without recourse to APCON, procured the placement of an advertisement in the Punch Newspaper of May 29, 2014. Following this development, APCON, via a Violation Notice, imposed a penalty of N500, 000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) on MIC Royal for procuring the advertisement without its approval. There was unchallenged evidence before the Court that MIC is a limited liability company engaged in the business of funeral homes, carpentry, joinery trade and manufacturing. 

Coronation ads

[READ MORE: Private sector operators kick against FG’s plan to increase VAT]

The Court of Appeal held that APCON’s powers did not extend to persons, including MIC who are not advertising practitioners. The Court of Appeal ultimately invalidated the Violation Notice issued to MIC. 

The judgment reinforces the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of APCON v. The Registered Trustees of International Covenant Ministerial Council & Ors. (2010) LPELR (CA) 3630. (the “APCON v. RTICM Case”). In that case, APCON directed the Respondents to submit their advertisements for vetting prior to publication. The Respondent challenged APCON’s request. The Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s decision that the Respondents are not advertising practitioners as contemplated by the APCON Act and consequently, APCON cannot compel the Respondent to seek approval from APCON prior to placing an advertisement.  

With the advent of social media, the advertising landscape has changed dramatically over the years. Social media’s collaborative, interactive and user-generated characteristics have endeared ordinary users, advertisers and consumers to communicate their shared interests on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


The advertising landscape is experiencing perhaps the most dynamic revolution and technological disruptions as most businesses/business-owners, who are not necessarily advertising practitioners have found a goldmine of fresh air to their advertising needs and are actively creating adverts almost on a daily basis. 

 [READ FURTHER: NECA cautions FG on 7.2% VAT, says it’s anti-minimum wage]


Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - [email protected]

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Business News

Heavy sell-off in Guinness shares leads to N6.9 billion market value loss in a single day

Shares of Guinness Nigeria Plc suffered a 9.89% loss today.



Guinness Nigeria Plc Reports Full Year F19 Results

Guinness Nigeria Plc suffered a 9.89% loss today following a heavy sell-off in the shares of the brewer. This triggered a market value loss amounting to about N6.9 billion at the close of trading activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as investors scaled-down stakes in the brewer.

Data tracked at the close of the market today revealed that the shares of GUINNESS declined from N31.85 per share at the market open, to N28.70 per share at the close of the market today, to print a loss of 9.89%.

This decline saw the market capitalization of the leading maker of beer and spirits fall from N69.75 billion to N62.86 billion at the close of trading activities today, putting the total market value loss at N6.89 billion.

The shares of Guinness at the close of the market today cleared at N28.70 per share, 9.89% lower than the closing price of N31.85 per share yesterday.

At the current price, Guinness shares are currently trading 20.27% lower than their 52-week high of N36.00 per share. However, the shares of the company have returned about 120.8% gains for investors who bought them at their 52-week low trading price of N13.00 per share last week.

During trading hours on the Exchange today, about 159,380 ordinary shares of Guinness Nigeria Plc worth about N4.57 million, were exchanged in 27 executed deals.

The shares of Nigerian Breweries Plc and Golden Guinea Breweries Plc closed flat at N50.1 per share and N0.81 per share respectively, while the shares of International Breweries Plc shed 0.88% to close low today at N5.65 per share.

What you should know

  • At the close of trading activities today, the NSE All-Share Index and market capitalization appreciated by 0.29% to close higher at 39,128.34 index points and N20.477 trillion respectively.
  • The NSE Consumer Goods Index, an investable benchmark designed to track the performance of the shares of consumer goods companies like Guinness Nigeria Plc, depreciated by -0.35% to close the day lower at 553.26 index points.

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Business News

NAICOM revokes operational licence of UNIC Insurance, appoints Receiver/Liquidator

NAICOM stated that it had appointed Hadiza Baba Gimba as the Receiver/Liquidator to wind up the affairs of the company.



Recapitalisation: 26 firms get NAICOM's approval

The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) on Wednesday announced the withdrawal of the operational licence issued to UNIC Insurance Plc.

Although no official reason has been provided for the revocation of the insurance firm’s operating license, NAICOM, however, stated that the decision of the regulator was in the exercise of the powers conferred on it by the enabling laws.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure is contained in a notice which was issued by the commission in Lagos to the general public and policyholders, where it noted that the revocation of the operational license, RIC 043, is with effect from March 25.

NAICOM, thereafter stated that it had appointed Hadiza Baba Gimba as the Receiver/Liquidator to wind up the affairs of the company.

NAICOM in its statement said, “The general public/policyholders are by this notice required to direct all inquiries and correspondence regarding UNIC Insurance to the receiver/liquidator.

The receiver/liquidator will be dealing with the company’s liabilities in accordance with the provision of Insurance Act 2003.’’

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that NAICOM, for the third time in June 2020, gave insurance firms in the country a one-year extension to meet the recapitalisation obligation that was recently set for them apparently due to the coronavirus pandemic which had disrupted the activities of most insurance companies.
  • Some insurance companies had been going through some bad patches with a good number of them struggling to meet up with their obligations and the recapitalization requirements.
  • The recapitalisation programme requires life insurance firms to meet a minimum paid-up capital of N8.0 billion, up from N2.0 billion previously. In the same vein, general insurance companies are required to raise their minimum paid-up capital to N10.0 billion from N3.0 billion previously.
  • The regulatory capital for composite insurance was raised to N18.0 billion from N5.0 billion previously while reinsurance businesses are now required to have a minimum capital of N20.0 billion from a previous N10.0 billion.

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