The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Hon. Mohammed Idris has urged advertising and integrated marketing communications practitioners to sensitize Nigerians the efforts both Federal and State Governments are making to make life better for all.
Speaking at the 2023 National Advertising Conference with the theme: Marketing Communication as an enabler of National Transformation in Abuja, Hon. Idris said the country needs their creative solutions and approaches, unparalleled network and platforms to achieve this.
The minister who was represented by the Director General, National Orientation Agency, Lanre Issa-Onilu stated this at the opening ceremony of NAC 2023 held in Abuja on Monday.
“As marketing communications professionals, you wield an immense amount of power and influence over the minds and opinions of the populace.
“This power is one that as you all know comes with great responsibility. To whom much is given, it is said, much is expected.”
He pointed out that this is not about propaganda or noise-making, instead, it is about enlightenment, sensitization, about opening the eyes of Nigerians to see the various economic opportunities emerging around them.
“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.
“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.”
“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.
He further urged them to help take the messages of hope, sacrifice, opportunity and patience to every nook and cranny of the country.
“Help us amplify the message that, while some policy decisions may be painful in the short-term, they will yield economic rewards and prosperity over time.”
The Director General, Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), Prof. Olalekan Fadolapo in his remarks said scaling up the advertising regulatory framework to stimulate development, inclusive growth, wealth creation and development of local talents has been a major priority of ARCON.
He said 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,” he said.
Fadolapo added that research has shown that marketing communication as an economic activity is strategic to the growth and development of the nation’s economy and the driver of a healthy thriving society.
“Therefore as professionals, we will be taking a detailed look at our practice as an economic enabler with the view of coming up with suggestions that will impact our industry positively and the Nigerian economy at large.
“One of the cardinal objectives of this conference is to evolve policies, articulate options and identify strategies for addressing national issues, particularly those that border on our industry and the Nigerian economy at large, he explained.
Chairman Organizing Committee of the Conference, Mr.Tunji Adeyinka stated that two key area emanated from the 2nd Conference held last year and these are to work towards determining the size of the Marketing Communications industry, understanding the contribution of the sector to GDP and framing the discussion around the multiplier effect of every naira spent on marcoms on the real sector.
“The Second issue was to change the narrative and develop a Brand Nigeria campaign from the industry perspective.”
Adeyinka explained that these two issues are critical pillars of the theme for the conference and with the challenges the sector is facing at the macro and micro levels, especially with economic, social and political problems, it is imperative to begin to create a path out of the difficulties.
“With the erosion of consumer purchasing power and a harsher operating environment for business, these are not the best times for our industry especially with the challenges caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the attendant effect on the global economy.
“In Nigeria, we continue to struggle to deal with high inflation, a high rate of unemployment and ⁵underemployment, increasing inequality and the implications for social cohesion and security.
Joining these forces are the centrifugal forces of industry disruption; technology; digital transformation; data primacy; evolving customer habits scarcity of critical talents.”
Participants include advertising practitioners which cut across the various sectorial bodies that include Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Out-of-Home Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria EXMAN.