Nigerian government sues Meta for illegal ads and hopes to get $70 million
Multinational companies like Meta usually face a lot of issues in different countries every year. For Meta, the company appears to make a lot of decisions that come back to haunt the company. These decisions and actions are leading to lawsuits upon lawsuits in different parts of the world. The Nigerian government recently drags Meta and its agents to court. The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) filed the lawsuit against Meta and AT3 Resources Limited, its agent in Nigeria. Meta, the owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms will have to respond to the lawsuit at the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division.
Nigerian government is seeking a $70 million fine
A statement from ARCON claims that it is seeking a declaration from Meta. It also wants regular publication and exposure of various ads that target the Nigerian market. It doesn’t matter whether these ads are from Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp platforms. The council claims that many of the ads are illegal because they violate extant laws in Nigeria. It wants all ads to pass through its desk for vetting before the ads go public. ARCON claims that if there is no vetting, then going public is illegal and against the law.
The council claims that Meta Platforms continues to expose adverts without vetting. It claims that this causes the Federal Government of Nigeria to lose revenue. The Nigerian government is not only seeking a change in Meta’s actions, but it also claims damages. For loss of revenue and violation of advertising laws, ARCON demands 30 billion Nigerian Naira (about $70 million).
“ARCON reiterates that it would not permit unethical and irresponsible advertising on Nigeria’s advertising space”. The council says
ARCON Director-General, Olalekan Fadolapo says Meta did not want to cooperate. There have been several attempts to get Meta to issue an official response. Meta did not concede to a letter from the council. The company did not also attend the meeting. In addition, the council had to call Meta. After the call, the company promised that it will revert. Well, the promise is only what it offers. It did not do according to its promise. Meta did not respond to all its attempts for talks. Thus, ARCON had to sue the company.
Meta has over 30 million Nigerian users on Facebook. The company also have over 10 million Nigerian users on Instagram. On WhatsApp, Meta has over 4 million users. Meta will not want to joke with the Nigerian market.