Expert Foresees Growth for Public Relations Industry

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Bismarck Rewane

Raheem Akingbolu

Renowned economist and member of the Presidential Economy Advisory Council (EAC), Mr. Bismarck Rewane has predicted large scale growth for the public relations and integrated marketing communications industry in Nigeria in 2020.

Rewane made this forecast recently during his presentation at the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN) Breakfast Meeting held to discuss the Nigerian Economic Outlook in 2020 and its implications for the Marketing Communications Sector.

He explained that the three key sectors expected to play significant roles in the growth process for the industry include the telecommunications, retail and Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) business sectors.

According to him, with the federal government’s introduction of interventionist’s policies and subsidies, it was certain that more businesses would be poised to spring up which would consequently necessitate increased spending on advertising and marketing communications generally.

Rewane, who identified three key areas such as agriculture, manufacturing and telecommunications sector as major drivers of the Nigerian economy in 2020 stated that notwithstanding the likelihood of a slow GDP growth rate at 2.2 per cent, the impact of government intervention policies, businesses was likely to increase spending on PR, advertising and branding this year.

Listing some of the game-changing events that would shape growth for PR industry and the Nigerian Business economy in general in 2020, he noted that projects and initiatives of the government including construction projects like the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Lagos-Ibadan Railway as well as the newly introduced Finance Act, Border Closure Policies, the cost-reflective electricity tariff policies, and the cashless policy and PSB licensing of the Central Bank of Nigeria, are all bound to expand the economy and attract more FDI thereby increasing productivity for the industry and the country as a whole.

X-raying the Nigerian economy vis-a-vis its standing 15 years ago, Rewane surmised that it was unfortunate that Nigeria as a country was still lagging behind on various economic fronts and indices despite the fact that there are enough resources to achieve the numerous ‘2020’ goals set many years ago.

While decrying the neglect of PR professionals by government in the management of public affairs, Rewane noted that it has become necessary for government at all levels including the Federal Government to see PR professionals as the only body best suited to help shore up its reputation, engender goodwill, gain credibility in the face of mistrust that had become commonplace in the heart and minds of Nigerians.

In his remarks, the President of PRCAN, Mr. Israel Opayemi, said the meeting was for practitioners to understand the primacy of data analysis towards planning for their businesses.

“This meeting is a way of enriching our members as well as their respective clients by helping them to understand the data available to us on the business and economy of Nigeria so that it can be used for planning, offer profound understanding of the macroeconomic issues that would shape businesses in 2020”, Opayemi noted.