PR Practitioners Dissect Issues of Leadership, Poverty Facing Brand Nigeria

L-R: Sina Thorpe, Council Member, NIPR; Niyi Onifade, MD/CEO Heirs Life Assurance: Mrs Comfort Obot Nwankwo, Chairman, NIPR Lagos and Conference Convener, Olabamiji Adeleye, Lead Consultant, Addefort Limited at the 9th Lagos PR Stakeholders’ Conference on Leadership and Poverty Eradication held in Lagos.

Public relations experts and other stakeholders have met to dissect ways the nation can entrench quality leadership and tackle the challenge of poverty, that remains one of the greatest obstacles facing the country and indeed the global population. 

The event was the 9th Lagos PR Stakeholders’ Conference held at the Agip Recital Hall, MUSON Centre, Lagos, Thursday, August 18, 2022, with the theme, “Conversations on Leadership And Poverty Eradication”

They also pointed out that considering the country’s level of poverty and leadership challenges, it is expedient that stakeholders which also include corporate organizations partake in soluting some of the challenges confronting the country. 

Noteworthy, according to a World Bank report, which brings together the latest evidence on the profile and drivers of poverty in Nigeria, as many as 4 in 10 Nigerians live below the national poverty line. Many Nigerians – especially in the country’s north – also lack education and access to basic infrastructures, such as electricity, safe drinking water, and improved sanitation.

Partially, Keynote speaker of the event, Tony Elumelu, Founder and Chairman of Heirs represented By Mr. Niyi Onifade, Managing Director/CEO, Heirs Life said “Poverty is the greatest enemy of humanity. Apart from breeding hunger, poverty also opens up a flood of crime and conflicts.”

He added that “In essence, poverty anywhere, is a threat to all of us, everywhere. As corporate citizens, we have a moral obligation to lead the fight against this enemy. But it is not a one-man’s fight, or for the government alone. It is a fight that must be owned and fought by every single one of us. 

“The government alone cannot provide all the economic and social needs of a country.”

He advocated for Africapitalism as one of the solutions to eradicating poverty. In his words, “The solution is a multi-sector, and multi-stakeholder collaboration, that will promote financial inclusion and social welfare. This is the reason why we speak about Africapitalism at Heirs Holdings.

“Africapitalism is an economic philosophy propounded by Mr. Tony Elumelu. This philosophy advocates for the private and public sectors to collaborate to achieve the unified goal of alleviating poverty and facilitating shared prosperity. 

“It is based on the belief that the African private sector has the power to transform the continent through long-term investments, creating both economic prosperity and social wealth.”

The Chairman, Lagos NIPR, Mrs. Comfort Obot Nwankwo said “This topic is timely as we approach an election year in Nigeria. As Public Relations professionals, we are expected to set the agenda for stakeholders’ engagement and lead the discus to reawaken national consciousness.” 

The conference Convener and Lead Consultant, Addefort Limited, Olabamiji Adeleye said “This year’s edition is strategic, being the eve of an election year, we are expected to set agenda on key issues that affect us as individuals and as a nation. There is an urgent need for sound policy frameworks at the national, state, and local levels, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions.

He added that “There is the need for government to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions. In developing countries like ours, new threats brought on by regional conflicts and food insecurity, mean even more work is needed to bring people out of poverty.”

The event was well attended by industry stakeholders including government officials such as representatives of the Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State, Gbenga Omotoso; and Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Lagos State, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada. 

The Annual Lagos Public Relations Stakeholders’ Conference in its 9th edition has been consistent towards the actualization of its set vision of promoting the social-economic development of the nation; it has evolved over the past nine years to become a bridge-building talker-shop for stakeholders to interact, discuss and proffer solutions to the social, political and economic challenges plaguing our nation.

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