2 Days To Go… Political Parties Reject State Charges For Campaign Signage, Billboards

Political parties in the country have rejected levies imposed by state governments for campaign bills boards, stating that it will increase their campaign spending.

To this end, the political parties have called on the state governments to review their levies.

Speaking to LEADERSHIP last night, the national organising secretary, who is also the acting publicity secretary of the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC), the umbrella body of all the political parties in the country, Mr Comrade Egbeola Wale Martins, said they are concerned over the several levies in the states which will increase their campaign spending.

“We are not happy with the levies in the states. We reject it because it will increase campaign spending. This is a time Nigerians are deemphasizing spending excessive money and we are calling on the states to review their actions because it will increase campaign spending,” Adekaiyaoja said.

However, civil society organisations (CSOs) in the country have said that they will not support any deliberate abuse of campaign finances, adding that whoever violates the electoral act and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidelines must face the full wrath of the law.

The CSOs which spoke to LEADERSHIP are Transparency International (TI), the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG)

Speaking through their leader, Awwal Musa Rafsanjani, the CSOs said the candidates and their political parties cannot go outside of what the law says.

Political Parties Reject State Charges For Campaign Signage


“We are more concerned about the abuse of the process like vote buying and manipulation of the process. It is not only the billboard. If the state has regulation on the billboard, it’s a commercial thing – just as you can’t stop the media from their advertising charges.

“We will not support deliberate abuse of campaign finances. It is left for the political parties to choose whether to do commercial advertising or not. There are other ways of doing campaigns.

“You don’t need a billboard in every local government but your plans’ articulation and your ability to convince the voters is what matters,” Rafsanjani said.

“You can organise public meetings with the supporters. The billboard really doesn’t matter. If you don’t have an agenda, no matter how you put the billboard, it will not have value. if the political parties and the candidates choose to put up a billboard, they should do it within the limit that the law allows.”

Speaking on their general interest, Rafsanjani said: “We don’t support vote buying, nor do we support corrupting the process, and corrupting the security officials. Bribing the security officials and the process is what we are condemning.”

Checks in states across the country revealed the price regimes and other conditionalities for placing campaign billboards.

The Abia State Signage and Advertisement Agency (ABSAA) in Umuahia indicated rates for placement of posters on billboards for both 2015 and 2023 general election are the same.

The public relations officer of the agency, Agha Onyeozuru, said they are as follows: presidency, N15,000,000; governorship, N10,000,000; Senate, N6,000,000; House of Representatives, N3,000,000, and State Assembly, N1,500,000.

However, a document signed by the general manager of the agency, Tony Otuonye, which was obtained by LEADERSHIP, warned that “posters shall not be posted on public utility structures.”

In Anambra, the state government said presidential candidates of all political parties would pay N10 million each to paste their campaign posters in any part of the state.

Managing director and chief executive officer of Anambra Signage and Advertising Agency (ANSAA), Tony Ujubuonu, made the disclosure in a statement yesterday.

Presidential candidates and other candidates for public office would pay varying amounts to paste their posters anywhere in the state.

While presidential candidates are mandated to pay N10 million, senatorial candidates will pay N7 million, while the House of Representatives candidates will pay N5 Million and State House of Assembly candidates will pay N1 mllion.

The statement read in part: “As campaign for 2023 general election officially commences next month, September, Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency (ANSAA), in charge of all forms of advertising in the state, wishes to bring some important information to your notice: that posting of posters on bridges, road demarcations; street light poles, round-abouts and public buildings remains prohibited.

“That every campaign material and advert forms such as posters, public address systems, banners, fliers, buntings, t-shirts, caps and sundries must be duly approved for after full payment of the requisite fee.

“That every billboard must be displayed through a registered advertising practitioner after the advertising content has been vetted by APCON,” the statement said.

In Kogi State, presidential candidates are to pay N10 million to paste posters and erect billboards in Kogi State.

Similarly, candidates vying for governorship position in the state will pay N5 million while Senatorial and House of Representatives candidates are to pay two million and one million naira respectively.

Those seeking House of Assembly seats and Council chairmanship are to pay five hundred thousand naira.

The payment of these fees followed the passage of the Kogi State Signage Agency Establishment bill into Law by the State House of Assembly.

The House under the Leadership of Rt. Hon. Matthew Kolawole, after adopting the report of the House Joint Committee on Commerce, Judiciary and Justice, said the bill will curb the indiscriminate pasting of posters on sidewalks, walls, bridges and public buildings which defaces the state.

In Rivers State, a staffer of the Rivers State Signage and Advertisement Agency (RISAA), who pleaded for anonymity, said the duty of the agency is to give licence to outdoor advertisers as well as give permits for the billboards and posters.

Efforts to speak with the acting managing director of RISAA, Hon. Tony Okeah, were abortive as he failed to return messages sent to him.

However, an outdoor advertising practitioner in the state, Kalada Jack, said outdoor advertising firms in the state charge the same rate for all political campaign billboards no matter the office being sought or political party.

Jack said they charge the same N350,000 for the biggest billboard per month and N50,000 for the smallest billboard.

He said: “The prize was two times less than this during the last political campaign season in 2018 and 2019. But we had to increase due to the economic realities facing us.”

Ogun State has a cluster of accredited advertisers, who are licensed to carry out such functions on billboard advertisement with appropriate observance of the laid-down rules and regulations for societal safety.

Rules guiding advert placement and erection of billboards in the  state provided for only companies duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), as well as the Advertising Practitioners Council Of Nigeria (APCON) to carry out the responsibility of erecting billboards, while each company’s APCON registration number is conspicuously written on each of the billboards so erected.

Unlike pasting of posters, which are difficult to regulate, no individual, be it politician, or trader, is authorized to venture into such business endeavour except for those so accredited by the state’s signage agency.

LEADERSHIP’s investigation, however, revealed that the amount charged by these accredited advertisers vary, depending on the size and quality of such billboards.

A source with one of the accredited advertisers in the state, who spoke with our correspondent, disclosed that a “Completed Freedom light Eyecatcher” billboard attracts the monthly sum of N50, 000, while the annual payment stands at N3 million “per face”.

A smaller size, which has a 10 by 20 ft dimension, with 48 sheet billboard costs N25,000 “per face” per month, with a total charge of N300,000 for six months.”

A careful analysis of government’s regulations of billboard advertisement in the state, however, indicated that any unwanted political advertisement would have been taken out of circulation by the government of the day through the accredited advertising companies.

The managing director/CEO of Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA), Prince Adedamola Docemo said they don’t have special rates for placement of posters, billboards for candidates, contesting for various positions in the forthcoming general election, saying the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) is the body saddled with the responsibility to regulate advertising contents in the state not his agency.

‘’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.’’

Like all other states of the federation, politicians vying for positions in the 2023 general elections are making use of billboards, posters, banners and others to canvas for the people’s vote in Ekiti State.

Come February, 2023, only presidential, senatorial, House of Representatives and state assemblies will be held in the state.

It would be recalled that the governorship election was held in the state on June 18,2022.

But in the state, the same amount payable for all political positions any aspirant is contesting for in terms of billboards, banners and posters.

A top official of the Ekiti State Signage and Advertisement Agency EKSAA, told LEADERSHIP in Ado Ekiti that the rates being paid depend on the size and location where the billboards are erected.

The official who does not want his name in the print said the signage fees being charged by the agency is reasonable.

According to him, “The fees for what he called unit pole is N50,000 per month, billboards N30,000 per month and for posters meant for specific senatorial districts and federal constituencies and the one which covers the whole state is N500,000 per month”.

He noted that some smaller banners and fliers go for as low as N15,000 and N20,000.

He, however, noted that the rates for political campaigns billboards, banners and others go up by 100 percent during such periods, which he described as ‘peak period’ which comes only every four years

“There are banners which cost N50,000 and N100,000 depending on size and location, while vehicle branding costs N40,000 per month.

On the difference in the amount charged in 2019 for the same, he said there was a little increase in the prices between that time and now.

In Kaduna state, the state government is yet to introduce rates for the placement of billboards, posters, banners and others for presidential, senatorial, House of Representatives and state Assemblies ahead of 2023 polls.

Kaduna state government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity with LEADERSHIP said: “There was no taxing of politicians on billboards placement, pasting of posters, banners in 2019 general elections and none yet for the 2023 general elections.”

He, however, said there may be changes as the campaigns begin.

In Kwara, the state government had not introduced new rates for the erection of billboards and pasting of posters by politicians ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The director-general of Kwara Signage and Advertising Agency (KWASAA), Olorunshola Omotayo, disclosed this during an interview with LEADERSHIP in Ilorin, the state capital.

Omotayo said the agency had asked politicians willing to erect billboards in the state capital to patronise the outdoor advertising agencies operating in the state.

He said the billboards had been given out to outdoor advertising agencies to do their businesses.

But he said the agency is charging between N100,000 and N150,000 in rural areas where outdoor advertising agencies are not operating.

He added that his agency’s decision is aimed at avoiding congestion of billboards in the Ilorin metropolis.

“Politicians wanting to erect billboards will approach the outdoor advertising agencies which had booked for spaces at KWASAA. This is done to keep the practitioners in business and as well avoid congestion in erection of billboards in Ilorin.

“We only charge a token of between N100,000 and N150,000 for erection of billboards, depending on the size in rural areas where the outdoor advertising agencies have not penetrated.

“KWASAA is not increasing the rate of any products for now or for political reason; we are only focusing on regulating the erection of billboards and zero tolerance to indiscriminate pasting of posters in the state,” Omotayo stated.

According to the general manager, Borno State Urban Planning and Development Board, Kaka Mallam Umar, the state has been without stringent rules and regulations with regards to the placement of billboards until the State Governor Babagana Umara Zulum reawakened the agency towards its mandate of maintaining sanity.

Umar said the government cannot fold its hands and watch people defacing the state without sanity, hence it came out with two aims: to sanitize the state of indiscriminate locations of billboards and to also generate revenue knowing that in the aftermath of any election, politicians would leave the billboards and posters for the state to go and clean them up.

According to him, an 80 ×120-inch billboard is rated N50,000, while a 160 × 120 inch billboard goes for N100,000. He added that a 240 × 120-inch billboard is rated at N150,000 with 320 × 120 inch of the billboard going for between N200,000 to N250,000 depending on location.

The chief town planner of the state said in addition to providing locations for the placement of the billboards and posters, government also regulates the height to the minimum of three metres, noting that the billboard to be erected must be in consonant with the culture and traditions of the people of the state.

He said,” You cannot go to the front of the Shehu of Borno’s palace and place billboards advertising alcohol.  We don’t charge for religious, educational and social activities, billboards or posters. We don’t differentiate ordinary billboards and posters with that of politics. Both of them carry the same rate.”

He said the state government had recently removed all the billboards of which the owners have refused to pay the rates after several announcements and ultimatum by the state government.


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