Why we appointed Utomi, Akande as patrons —OAAN President

The need to re-strategise and have influential Nigerians as the voice of Outdoor Advertisers’ Association of Nigeria (OAAN) has been adduced as a key reason for the recent choices of renowned economist, Professor Pat Utomi and the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Onikepo Akande as patrons of the association recently.

It is of note that the outdoor advertising landscape in the country, especially Lagos, has suffered series of hiccups, occasioned by  what many have described as unbending and unfriendly regulations in the sector, of late.

This appointment is therefore seen, by many, as a consequence of  some numerous challenges confronting the practice of outdoor advertising business in Nigeria, which the association believes that these prominent Nigerians will be able to resolve, wielding their influences.

For instance, in a statement issued by the association recently, its president, Babatunde Adedoyin, argued that the need for the association to seek out respectable individuals who had influence in the society and the government circles to be the voice of association had become imperative, if the association was to survive.

The OAAN boss reiterated that to actualise this desire, the association would be considering “a somewhat geo-political spread,” before selecting those people of great repute.

For example, the appointment of Chief Akande, a foremost industrialist, and the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as one of the patrons of the association was not only informed by her pivotal role in the seat of commerce in Lagos State, but by the goodwill she enjoys as a two-time Minister of Industry of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Akande is a Nigerian economist, accountant and industrialist who currently serves as the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and honorary life Vice-President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture.

Another choice, Utomi, a one-time Presidential aspirant, a Political Economist, is believed to be very vast in socio-economic issues,  a veritable tool for advocacy, who is  expected to intervene for the outdoor association in Lagos State, the East and at the federal level.

Utomi is a Nigerian professor of political economy and management expert.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria and a former presidential candidate, with a passion for the dignity of the human person and the spirit of enterprise.

Founder of Centre for Value in Leadership (CVL) and also a professor at Lagos Business School, Utomi had served in senior positions in government, as an adviser to the president of Nigeria, the private sector and as Chief Operating Officer for Volkswagen of Nigeria.

“We are looking to secure a Northern Representative as another Patron and have written to the Emir of Kano Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. His reply is still being awaited,” Adedoyin said.