At a Stakeholders’ Conference recently organised by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Lagos chapter, the Federal Government of Nigeria was cautioned to desist from engaging non-public relations practitioners to manage Nigeria’s image rebranding campaigns.
The body said the government should learn from the failure of past campaigns and ensure that only professionals were employed to handle its image agenda.
The Chief Executive Officer, C&F/Porter Novelli and a member of NIPR, Mr. Nnemeka Maduegbuna, who also condemned the lack of professionalism in the handling of the nation’s PR campaign, said the successful management of Nigeria’s reputation at home and abroad would attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Lack of coordination in Nigeria’s PR campaigns has resulted in the fall of FDI from $8 billion in 2011 to $3 billion last year, he said at the conference with the theme: “Communication, Reputation and Sustainable Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria.”
He said Ghana, with $3.2 FDI last year, was ahead of Nigeria, blaming lack of transparency in the foreign exchange trading, policy somersaults, poor infrastructure, insecurity and lack of PR strategy for communication management for the nation’s awkward standing.
He said PR played a significant role in restrategising national communication approach and reputation management to enhance sustainable FDI inflow into the country.
“Any government that refuses to communicate will soon go into extinction. But you have got to earn a reputation before you can communicate,” he said.
Maduegbuna also urged the government to adopt a macro-economic policy that will enhance wealth creation through transformation of raw materials into finished products.
NIPR Lagos Chapter chairman Mr. Segun McMedal, who described the theme of the conference as timely, called on the government to improve infrastructure to attract more FDI.
“The preferred destinations for FDI have good infrastructure and steady macro-economic environment. Places like Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore, the preferred investors’ destinations, are known for their world class infrastructure,” McMedal said.
The President, Africa Public Relations Association, Mr. Yomi Badejo, stressed the need for government to employ professionals to manage the country’s reputation.
The Lagos NIPR Stakeholders’ Conference, an annual event organised by Addefort Limited, a public relations outfit, in collaboration with the Lagos Chapter, is aimed at creating a viable bridge-building platform for stakeholders to discuss and proffer solutions to social, political and economic challenges plaguing the nation.