By Abubakar Owolabi
One of the cardinal objectives of the Kwara State Signage and Advertisement Agency (KWASAA), is to ensure aethestics and beautification of the state through well erected billboards and posters as well as generating revenue for the state, among others. So, these and some other goals have been the driving force guiding the operations of the agency since its establishment.
KWASAA was established by the Kwara State Structures for Signage and Advertisement Agency Law in 2010 and the amendment thereafter in 2013. So, since its existence, it has established guidelines to regulate and control outdoor advertising and signage displays across the State.
When Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq came on board in 2019, he left no one in doubt of his readiness to transform the agency with a befitting facelift. During the governor’s visit to the headquarters of the agency after his inauguration, he expressed reservations over the indiscriminate ways of erecting billboards which he said had little or no regard for order, public safety, aesthetics and beautification of the State.
It was right there that the governor made it clear that policies and programmes of his administration on township aesthetics and beautification will not allow haphazard erection of billboards and signs of all forms as it were, all over the State.
He added that the transformation and restoration agenda of his administration will change the face of outdoor practice across the length and breadth of the State.
By and large, to ensure that the agency meets up with its duties of generating revenue to the state government coffers, among other responsibilities, Governor AbdulRazaq believes that the agency needs a technocrat and a game changer that will drive the policy and mission of government in line with global standards on signage and outdoors structures.
It was in the bid to change the narrative that the governor now puts a round peg in a round hole through the appointment of a new Director-General (DG) for the agency, Mr. Olorunshola Omotayo, a professional and member of Advertising Practitioner Council of Nigeria (APCON ).
Within a short period of his assumption as the new DG, Mr. Omotayo had re-written the story of the agency specifically in the area of revenue generation, among others, which was difficult for the agency to achieve since its establishment in 2010.
To many people, the appointment of Mr. Omotayo as the DG of KWASAA is a saving grace to an infant agency that is in dire need of an experienced Manager.
Addressing the Management and Staff of the agency on his assumption of office, Mr. Olorunshola Omotayo said the agency needs a lot of sacrifices from the staff and encourage them to ensure that Kwara and the agency remain their focus in order to meet up with the ‘ise n lo’ slogan of government.
“What I mean by sacrifice is that everyone must do his job diligently in accordance with the Civil Service Rules to better the State and l also urge you all to work together for the progress of the agency in particular and the State at large”, Omotayo said.
Interestingly, the first week of his resumption in office witnessed a maiden in-house training for the Management and Staff of the agency, to boost their morale for effective performance in their respective bits.
The workshop, which was held at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Communications, had the Director General himself and Head of Bill and Technical, Mr. Oluwole Adedeji as guests lecturers respectfully.
The DG did not stopped at that but embarked on advocacy and enlightenment of the people by appearing on various radio programmes for the masses to know the duties of the agency, as he stressed the need for the public to partner with the agency in its efforts to bring back its lost glory.
More so, he ensured that the Agency’s staff cut across the 16 Local Government Areas of the State through deployment of staff to each of the local government areas for more revenue generation. The issue of revenue, according to Omotayo, cannot be over- emphasized because revenue generation is among the cardinal responsibilities of the agency.
Inspite of the challenges the agency was going through over a decade of its establishment, for the first time, the agency in 2021was able to meet and surpassed the revenue target and even doubles the previous year 2020.
To many staff, with the unprecedented achievements within a short period, the agency has never had it so good like this before. To them, it sounds like the DG is in for serious turnaround of the agency.
Another surprise is the integrity award given to the Director General, Mr. Omotayo and some members of staff including the Press Secretary, Mallam Abubakar Owolabi, as a result of their distinguished performances.
Giving his remarks during the presentation of the award, the Executive Director of the Centre for Ethics and Self Value Orientation, Prince Salih Musa Yakubu explained that the centre embarked on thorough assessment and re-assessment before it settled for the agency as the most suitable for the centre’s award of excellence.
However, as Oliver Twist, the agency is appealing to the state government for the procurement of tools and modern equipment that will enhance the performance of the agency so that it will continue to improve on its revenue generation drive for the State.
Owolabi is the Press Secretary of KWASAA