The federal government has been called upon to use Nigerian public relations and marketing consultants to frame the nation’s economic narratives. The appeal was made by one of Africa’s leading economists, Dr. Biodun Adedipe, at a Fireside Chat, organised by the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN) in Lagos, recently.
Speaking on the theme of the session, “Macro-economic factors that will impact the Nigerian marketing communications Industry in 2018,” Adedipe advised the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to tap into the expertise of Nigerian PR and marketing communications consultants to help the government frame its economic narratives and distill the message for better understanding of the populace.
Adedipe said: “Nigeria has exited recession going by the gross domestic product(GDP) growth recorded in the last two quarters. Government will therefore need to communicate better than it has ever done to be able to receive social approval for some of its policy initiatives and options.”
He cited the initial opposition to the government borrowing plan as an example of how using communications consultants could have made the task easy for the federal government.
“It took a single session with members of the Nigerian Senate for them to understand the wisdom in using long-term loans for infrastructure development. The Nigerian Senate approved the borrowing plan immediately the economic case for taking such a loan was well articulated before them. This is your job. This is what the Nigerian government should rely on you for,” he said.
Also, Adedipe urged communications consultants in Nigeria not to wait for the invitation from government. He advised them to always put forward their professional opinions on what government should be saying and doing per time.
He said: “You must always have a voice in the room. Your professional opinion on key national issues must always be articulated and put forward to the government, whether solicited or not.”
He urged PR and communications consultants to commit to research, best practices, top quality services, relentless improvement and to conduct proper diagnosis on the businesses of the clients they hope to service.
On the economic outlook for 2018, Adedipe said there was no doubt about the fact that Nigeria had exited recession.
“We have had two quarters of positive growth back-to-back and there are strong indications that the last quarter of the year 2017 will record more GDP growth too,” he stated. He advised businesses to begin to watch out for recovery signs.
Adedipe further said: “A nation can go through the different phases of boom, recession and slump to recovery. So, there are recovery signs you need to begin to watch out for. Nigeria now has a brighter outlook. You must keep your eyes on sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, ICT, real estate, mining and trade amongst others.”
He explained that these were dominant contributors to the nation’s GDP as they were of interest for government.