Why We Need You, FG Tells Stakeholders At the National Advertising Conference

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The Federal Government has stated that the role of stakeholders in the marketing communications ecosystem in enabling national transformation cannot be overemphasized, as they are needed in helping bridge the divide between the government and the citizenry.

The government also urged stakeholders, practitioners and leaders in the industry to be alive to their responsibilities as they wield an immense amount of power and influence over the minds and opinions of the populace.

The Honourable Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mallam Mohammed Idris, made this known yesterday in Abuja while officially flagging off the ongoing National Advertising Conference held at the Bolton White Event Centre, in Wuse, Abuja.

“I am delighted that this year’s theme is focused on the role of marketing communications as an enabler of national transformation. It is a direct acknowledgement of the power and responsibility of your professional calling to facilitate the transformation that Nigeria requires and deserves.

“As you all know, we have a President who is very determined to be an agent of transformation for this country that has been blessed with incredible natural and human resources. A President who seizes every opportunity to share his vision to, I quote, “build a more just and equitable society for all Nigerians.” A President who is always quick to remind the world that he does not require sympathy or pity for the task ahead, and who does not shy away from taking responsibility for the hard but necessary decisions required to pave the path to a transformed Nigeria.”

Speaking to the objectives of the Federal Government on economic reforms, national security, and sustainable developments, education, health, among others, the Minister who was represented by Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), stated, “We are reforming the tax landscape, expanding the National Social Register through which social welfare is provided to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians.

“Just this week, the Federal Government launched an SME support programme, the Presidential Conditional Grant Scheme and Palliative Programs, targeting traders, artisans, transporters, vendors, and creatives with grants and low-cost loans. 1 million nano-businesses – the smallest businesses in the country – will benefit from grants of N50,000 each, while bigger businesses will be eligible to benefit from loans from a 75 Billion Naira Fund.

“If the people and businesses who are meant to benefit from the loans and grants and cash transfers are not aware, how will they benefit? How can we mobilize Nigerians in an inspiring and hopeful fashion, how can we awaken people to their rights and responsibilities as citizens of Nigeria? You as marketing communications professionals have credible answers to these questions, and are thus well positioned to serve as catalysts of Nigeria’s social and economic transformation,” he said.

He added, “We need your creative solutions and approaches, we need your unparalleled network, we need your platforms. This is not about propaganda or noise-making, no! Instead, it is about enlightenment, sensitization, about opening the eyes of Nigerians to see the various economic opportunities emerging around them.”

Concluding, he revealed, “On our part as Government, we have pledged and are committed to making information available in a timely and credible manner. I have always said that as Minister of Information and National Orientation, I will strive to do my work with utmost openness and integrity. As we make the information available with transparency and credibility, I ask that you as communications professionals rally around to help us convey that information without sensationalism or distortion.”

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director- General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, ARCON, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo revealed that the theme for this year’s conference is which is ‘Marketing Communication as an enabler for National Transformation’, is in tandem with current national realities and the role the industry can play in its transformation.

“Research has shown that marketing communication as an economic activity is strategic to the growth and development of our nation’s economy. It is the driver of a healthy and thriving society. Scaling up the advertising regulatory framework to stimulate economic development, inclusive growth, wealth creation and development of local talents has been a major priority of ARCON. These policies will be up for debate and discussion during the relevant sessions at the conference.

“You will agree with me that the theme requires thorough interrogation by stakeholders and the marketing communications community. As professionals, we will be taking a detailed look at our practice as an economic enabler with the view of coming up with suggestions and recommendations that will impact our industry positively and the Nigerian economy at large,” he said.

Now in its third, the conference resumes with more sessions, a townhall meeting and a Gala Nite for later in the day.

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