11th February, 2022.
It is hereby announced for the information of the public that the attention of the Delta State Government has been drawn to reports making the rounds in some electronic and print media on the legality of the Delta State Signage and Advertising Agency (DESSA) in collecting signage and outdoor advertisement rates in Delta State, stating the judgement delivered on 14th January, 2022 by a Warri high court, in which the court ruled that only local government councils have the right to demand and collect rates for outdoor advertisement.
For the avoidance of doubt, this is not the first time that such litigations, aiming to make void the demand and collection of outdoor advertisement rates by Delta State Signage and Advertisement Agency (DESAA) has gone before the courts. On the 23rd November, 2018 in a suit between Barr. Agor Ochuko Endurance and the Delta State Signage and Advertisement Agency with the Governor of Delta State and the Hon. Attorney General as first and second respondents respectively, contesting the validity of the Delta State Structures for Signage and Advertisement Law 2015, which gives DESAA the right to demand and collect outdoor advertisement rates on behalf of the local government councils, the then presiding judge, now Chief Judge of Delta State, Justice T.O. Diai, struck out the case, stating that the Delta State Structures for Signage and Advertisement Law 2015, which gives the DESAA the right to demand and collect outdoor advertisement rates on behalf of the Local Governments, is valid.
A similar case was initiated by Amju Micro Finance Bank against DESAA at the Revenue Court, Asaba, aiming to nullify the collection of rates by DESAA, amongst other things. The judge on 6th May, 2020, struck out the case, stating that the Delta State Structures for Signage and Advertisement Law 2015, gives DESAA the right to demand and collect outdoor advertisement rates on behalf of local governments.
The public and business owners in particular should note that DESAA does not demand and collect outdoor advertisement rates for itself but on behalf of all local government councils, and is always in constant communication with local government councils on the rates, and that the modalities of collection and monies collected are duly remitted to the authorities.
DESAA is in the process of appealing the judgement of the Warri High Court and wonders why supposedly reputable media organizations will go on air without hearing from the agency, thereby causing anxiety in the outdoor advertising sector of the state.
It should further be mentioned that the 2022 Demand Notices are out and distribution will commence from Monday, 14th February. DESAA staff will be going around business premises with outdoor advertising structures across the state to distribute the notices.
All concerned, should please, ensure that all necessary payment for outdoor advertising structures is duly paid for into government’s designated bank accounts, as and when due. Failure to make payments for outdoor advertisement structures will lead to enforcement, as stipulated by the law.
Theresa Adiabua Oliko
Director of Information