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MIPAN must move to address industry debts, business financing -Expert

Leadership of the Media Independents Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) has been called upon on the need to rise and take definitive measures towards addressing the various issues of indebtedness and payment challenges which are presently posing serious threats to the growth and survival of media advertising agencies in the country.

In addition, the industry regulator has been charged to take a step and explore the possibility of securing collective corporate financial support that would be based on a friendly business term with banks and other financial institutions in a country with a view to assisting media agencies in growing their businesses.

Making this call recently in Lagos was a media industry specialist, Managing Director/CEO of Media Stamp Limited, Feyi Olukoya, According to him, the media advertising landscape in Nigeria was bedeviled by multifaceted challenges, all bordering on debts and poor payment issues.

He opined that unless regulators of the industry rose up to the task, the industry might as well be headed for extinction.

Specifically, he noted that media business was capital intensive, involving huge financial outlay in investments and to that extent collective corporate financing coming from the finance, houses would go a long way in enhancing operations of media companies.

“In this industry, if there is any sector that runs on money that trades on money, it is the media.

Media is basically about money, let me tell you something, the concept of media-independent worldwide is not what we are doing here, media independent is about money management, client management, air time acquisition and value addition,” he said.

He observed that between clients and their agencies, their existed not too cordial business relationships and this was as a result of the lack of integrity and transparency in the manner of business transactions between agencies and their principals.

The agency boss condemned in critical terms the practice whereby some clients accumulated huge debts by not paying their agencies promptly, but moved on and negotiated fresh business terms with other agencies without proper reconciliation of existing debts.

He pointed out that most clients were also now in the habit of establishing in-house media agencies and employed specialist media practitioners to execute their briefs in-house, stressing that such practices were capable of “killing” the business.

“If you want to move from an agency, let there be final reconciliation of debts and let the industry be aware. MIPAN should offer certificates to say you can now move and when they get to the TV station or Radio station, they must present that certificate,” he stressed.

He also emphasized the need for the industry regulator to enter into partnerships with foreign international media organisations whereby local practitioners in Nigeria could be afforded the opportunities of accessing international training that would ultimately sharpen their skills and enable the industry leverage on global offerings in media practice.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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