Nigerians Are Suffering, Says Outgoing NIPR President, As He Urges Diplomacy With Niger
…Lauds Tinubu’s Appointment of NIPR As Minister of Information & National Orientation
Mallam Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo, the outgoing President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has called on the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu- led administration to quickly speed up measures to alleviate the burden and restore relief to the people.
He made this call at the ongoing 2023 edition of NIPR’s National Conference, Annual General Meeting (AGM), and elections in Abuja. While addressing professionals and delegates, Sirajo acknowledged the potential financial prudence behind the decision but highlighted its negative impact on citizens and businesses.
He said, “There have been some concerns expressed about the consequences of certain recent policies of the government, especially the removal of the controversial fuel subsidy which has resulted in the rise of prizes of other products in the market. The citizens and corporate organisations are struggling to cope with the negative impact of these policies.
“The subsidy removal may have a well-intended decision of the government to ensure financial prudence and efficiency in the system. However experiences of Nigerians across the land clearly show that the burden occasioned by the policy is taking a heavy toll on them. It is therefore our hope that all necessary measures to ameliorate the negative repercussion of the policy be put in place so that the people can heave a sigh of relief,” he said.
Relatedly, the recent allocation of funds and materials by the federal government to states for providing relief to citizens was commended, with Sirajo emphasizing the importance of transparency and equitable distribution of these resources.
Addressing economic concerns, Sirajo voiced the need to combat rising inflation and its impact on production costs and household purchasing power. He urged the implementation of policies to restore stability to the economy, including the foreign exchange market.
In his address, he also acknowledged the weight of responsibility that newly appointed leaders under the Tinubu administration carry. He emphasized the high expectations of Nigerians from leaders and their crucial role in meeting these expectations. He expressed that diverse sectors and corners of society were looking towards the appointed leaders with great anticipation.
Sirajo’s speech also touched on the pressing issue of insecurity across Nigeria, expressing concern about loss of life, property, and the erosion of peaceful coexistence. He acknowledged efforts by the government, security agencies, and concerned citizens but emphasized the need for more decisive action.
On the international front, Sirajo raised alarm over the prevalence of military coups in the West African sub-region, especially the recent instance in Niger Republic. He condemned the overthrow of democratically elected administrations and called for diplomatic solutions rather than military intervention. He advocated for dialogue and non-violence as conflict resolution strategies, highlighting the dire consequences of military actions.
“It is worrisome that the sub-region is saddled with military hunters in a number of the members states, the latest one being the Republic of Niger. We condemn in its totality the overthrow of the democratically elected administration in Niger republic and join all forces of reason to demand for the return of democracy to that country now.
“The ECOWAS has already threatened the use of force as part of the solution; this position has generated heated debate among various groups. International community, scholars, military experts and policy analysts.
“The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations will like to lend its voice to the call of a peaceful and diplomatic engagement as a way out. In line with PR philosophy of non-violence consent engineering, dialogue and democratic ethos were clearly opposed to the use of force as a strategy of conflict resolution. Our stance on diplomatic dialogue is also born out of the dire consequences of any military actions which is capable of throwing the nations into further conflict escalation,” he said.
Sirajo also expressed gratitude for the institute’s involvement in government positions, such as the appointment of Mohammad Idris as Minister of Information and National Orientation, and Basheed Adewale MFR as Controller General of the Nigerian Customs Service. He assured the government of NIPR’s unwavering support and commitment to the nation’s development.
The outgoing NIPR President concluded his address with gratitude to colleagues, stakeholders, and attendees for their support during his tenure. He welcomed the incoming NIPR Council and affirmed the institute’s commitment to delivering value to the private sector and the industry.