The menace of road advertising

Nigeria’s advertising regulatory body seems to be more concerned with the lucrative areas while leaving other segments of advertising to dance to their tune of music. Road advertisers in Nigeria are so voracious for sell and profit that they only look at their gains and have no concern on the people’s health and comfort.

Unregistered advertisers congest the streets selling local medicines while causing lots of noise pollution in serene areas and in market places. The advertisers at times move around with cars, wheelbarrows and sometimes standing in market centres with their loud speakers, causing more harm than good to the people as reports have shown that such drugs are deadly. Many Nigerians died for taken unregistered and unprescribed medicines while the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, is established purposely to arrest and prosecute these offenders of the law.

It is the duty of NAFDAC as saddled on by the laws of Nigeria to administer and make sure that every producer of consumable food is registered with the agency after the agency is certified with its production.

Chapter 14 of the Penal Code on offences affecting the public health, safety, convenience, decency and morals states that, “A person is guilty of a public nuisance who does any act or is guilty of an illegal omission which causes any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, dangers or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right. A common nuisance is not excused on the ground that it causes some convenience or advantage.”

Public disturbance is an offence that attracts punishment and the offenders should not be spared to be causing harm on innocent citizens for their illicit gains.

Another public nuisance created by advertisers is the promotion of companies’ products and services where the advertising agents move to places in market areas dancing in nudity to attracts buyers with amplified music.

This activity is unethical that it is disturbing the passersby and the marketers around them. In this kind of advertisements women are used to dress and dance in either nude or tight clothes to attract customers and the 1990 Act of advertisement codes forbid the exposure of children to sexual display in the course of advertisement.

Some advertisers display nude posters that contain disruption of human sensitive organs. They crack expensive jokes with vulgar words as a means of their advertisements.

All the above mentioned forms of advertisements are not in the public interest and the human universal rights as they find for themselves suitable places to advertise and use any strategy to attract buyers.

The main concern of the law to roads advertisement is to curtail environmental pollution and to avoid nuisance in the society.

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) was established in 2007 with the primary responsibility of enforcing environmental standards, regulations, rules, laws, policies and guidelines which protect and enhance the quality of our environment.

NESREA is a body established to inspect, prosecute and make sure that judgement is done on any offender of public comfort.

Any offender of noise limit is to be fined a sum that does not exceed N 50,000 and or imprisonment for a term that does not exceed one year. The police are also saddled with the responsibility to hear and address issues of noise pollution.

Public nuisance caused by street advertisers is disturbance that affects the mental stability of the people. Psychiatrists have warned that it causes mental disorder and sensitivity in human brains and it is for the reason the laws of public noise limit is enacted to control the behaviour of people when it comes to street advertisements.

The street advertisers of goods and services are all around Nigeria and it will be good if the agencies responsible to tackle the menace step up to put an end to such indecency and environmental pollution as they are all mandated to protect the safety and health of Nigerians.

Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim,


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