By Chimezie Anaso
Awka, Sept. 24, 2020 The Anambra Signage and Advertisement Agency (ANSAA) says that it is likely to fall short of its revenue projection for 2020 by 60 per cent due to the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on its activities.
The Managing Director of the agency, Chief Jude Emecheta, told journalists on Thursday in Awka that the pandemic’s lockdown that led to the suspension of its revenue drive and closing of businesses in the past four months had made its revenue projection of over N1 billion grossly unrealistic.
“In the last four months, businesses have been shutdown and we did not work. We have not been able to cover the state so we are losing a lot of money, even now signage owners are complaining of bad business.
“As a result, we are losing revenue and I am afraid that we will fall short of more than 60 per cent of our revenue target.
“Signage fees are legal and compulsory but not cast in stone; in the light of the economic realities of the lockdown, we can reschedule payment plan upon request and negotiation.
“For reduction of fees or outright waiver, we don’t have the power to grant that, people who want that should write to the governor through the ministry of finance, Internal revenue service and ministry of information.
“If these authorities approve that we should not collect money from these people, we will allow them to go free,” he said.
On the complaints of business owners that ANSAA is arbitrary with its charges and inconsiderate of the plight of businesses which are just coming back from the lockdown, Emecheta said the complaints were not correct.
According to the ANSAA boss, there is a standard rate for any size of billboard which is unrelated to the nature of the business.
He explained that there was need for those erecting billboard to obtain approvals and know the rate of their signage.
Emecheta added that the agency was not party to any association’s agreement not to pay for signage.
According to him, the complaints or allegations of arbitrary billing are not true.
“ANSAA is established by law, our billing is based on provisions of the law and not according to name or face of the business owner.
“Our billing is according to the size, type and number of displays; it ranges from N5,000 for free standing size to N1 million for the big ones, for LED it is about N2 million; they are at liberty not to erect billboard and nobody will demand payment from them,” he said.
Emecheta said that ANSAA had enumerated 10, 000 houses in Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi and Ekwulobia in the pilot phase of its House Numbering Project and would commence fixing the number plaques on the houses by next week.
He said the numbering would increase accessibility and security in the state as the numbered houses would be uploaded on Google map.
“We have enumerated about 10, 000 houses in Awka, Nnewi, Onitsha and Ekwulobia and by next week, we are going to start fixing the plaques for the pilot phase.
“Enumeration is continuing in semi-urban areas,” he said.