“The Federal Government’s on-going fight against corruption stands the risk of being totally dissipated if concise and strategic effort is not made to drive change in the mindset of the today’s Nigerian youth. Unfortunately, an alarming number of them are not bothered about the negatives of being involved in corruption as long as they are not caught in the act, laying the ground for a mortgaged future”.
This assertion was made by the President of the African Public Relations Association (APRA), Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya while speaking at the Second Annual Lecture of the School of Communication, Lagos State University (LASU). Mr. Badejo Okusanya while commending the effort of the Buhari-led administration posits that the time has come for it to widen and perhaps deepen the narrative concerning corruption. In his own estimation, while the punitive measures currently being pursued are good, it must be accompanied by virile advocacy that appeals to human reasoning, showing the devastating effects of corruption, but strongly building a case for lives of integrity.
Speaking on the subject ‘Corruption, Image-making, National Development and the Role of Marketing Communication’, Mr. Badejo-Okusanya who also doubles as the Chief Executive of one of Nigeria’s foremost public relations group, CMC Connect, lamented the exclusion of any Nigerian University in the just released global ranking of top one thousand universities, which parades ten African tertiary institutions. In his opinion, the blame for this abysmal showing, can only be laid directly at the doorstep of bad leadership fueled by pervasive corruption, which has ultimately crippled Nigeria’s growth. Mr. Badejo- Okusanya relying heavily on reports from Transparency International, catalogued the unenviable positions Nigeria has commanded in this ranking year in year out. Again, referencing a report by PWC, which said by 2030 if nothing drastic is done to fight corruption to a standstill, a staggering 37% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, will have been swallowed up by corruption.
Mr Badejo-Okusanya therefore charged Nigerian youth to shun all forms of corruption and other vices if they ever hope to salvage the nation. He tasked them to individually to make up their minds not go succumb to corruption in its various forms, while clearly admonishing them on the value of personal and corporate integrity.
On the role of marketing communication, Badejo-Okusanya advised that the imminent threat that this neglect of the youth poised, demands all stakeholders in the sector to act decisively even ahead of the government. He charged them to come together and form a pressure group that will deepen the narrative of the fight against corruption, leading to the necessary attitude-change.
The lecture was declared open by the Vice Chancellor of LASU, Mr Lanre Fagbohun, and he was joined by several other dons from the university including the Dean of the School of Communications and veteran lecturer, Prof. Lai Osho.