Photo: Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation.
FG seeks collaboration with NIPR to restore public trust in government
The Minster of Information and National Orientation, Mr Mohammed Idris, has called for the collaboration of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in restoring the people’s trust in government.
Idris made the call at the NIPR 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday in Abuja.
He urged NIPR members to use the conference to recommit themselves not only to their clients and organisations, but also to the greater good of the nation.
Idris, with about three decades of robust practice in public relations before his appointment as minister, said that communication professionals played key roles in addressing the myriad of challenges facing the country.
“You are aware that the focus of government now is how to restore the confidence of the governed in governments and its institutions.
“This time around the process of restoring popular confidence and trust in government and its policy shall not lie in the domains of propaganda; through tangible and credible policies of government, government aims to directly impact on the lives of our people.
“In other words, the era of relying on propaganda to propagate government programs is now over,’’ he said.
Idris also challenged NIPR to make the profession more relevant and more focused to achieve national expectations and concentrating on the key issues that dominate national life today.
“As we come together, we are not only celebrating our sheer dedication to the field of public relations, but also embarking on a journey of reflections of inspiration and of collaboration.
“In this age of information saturation where every click adds to the noise, the role of public relations has never been more vital.
“We are the storytellers, the bridge builders and the custodians of reputation. Our work shapes perceptions, guides decisions, it guides decisions, it fosters relationship and extends far beyond the boardroom,’’ he said.
Idris lauded the choice of the theme of the conference, “leadership, public relations and value creation’’ and urged the participants to engage thoughtfully in issues that affect the nation and shape the future of public relations.
“Beyond the corporate boardrooms and campaign strategies, let us also remember our broader societal role, our craft can be a force for positive change, amplifying voices that otherwise go unheard, driving awareness on social issues and catalysing meaningful dialogues,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the NIPR President and Chairman of the Council, Mukhtar Sirajo, called on the Federal Government to put in place all necessary measures to ameliorate the negative effects of petroleum subsidy removal for Nigerians to heave a sigh of relief.
He said that the removal of the subsidy may have been done with good intention but citizens and corporate organisations were struggling to cope with its negative impact, as it had resorted in the rise of prices of other products in the market
“It is therefore our hope that all necessary measures to ameliorate the negative repercussions of the policy be put in place so that people can heave a sigh of relief,’’ he said.
“The recent release of funds and other relief materials by the Federal Government to provide some palliatives to the citizens is commendable.
“Efforts should equally be made to ensure there is adequate transparency, accountability, fairness and equity in the distribution of these materials,’’ he said.
Sirajo called for appropriate policies to checkmate inflation and restore stability in the system.
He said that inflation increased the cost of production for the manufacturing sector and the reduction in the purchasing power of most households.
“The foreign exchange market where we have witnessed that appreciation of the Naira in the record low against major currencies should also be streamlined in order to stabilise our currency and restore investors’ confidence,” he said.
He also called for more efforts from the government towards addressing the issue of insecurity in the country.
Also speaking on recent military coups in the West African countries, Sirajo urged ECOWAS to explore more non-violent actions and dialogues in restoring democratic government in Niger Republic.
Sirajo welcomed the appointment of NIPR’s key members into positions of government, including Idris and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, describing the development as an indication that the government recognized the important role NIPR members played in national development. (NAN)