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Information minister rallies advertising practitioners for policies’ enlightenment, sensitisation

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The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris Malagi, Thursday, rallied the support of advertising practitioners for the sensitization and enlightenment of the progranmes and policies of the federal government.

To this end, Malagi urged them to use their platforms to influence and sensitize Nigerians to many programmes and policies of the federal and state governments.

Speaking during the National Advertising Conference held in Abuja, the minister who was represented by the Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA),  Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu,  also urged them to bring their creative solutions and approaches to aid the government in its efforts towards economic transformation.

The conference, which was organised by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (ARCON), was themed: “Marketing Communication as an Enabler of National Transformation”.

He said: “Right from Day one, the President has been decisive – and we can see this from the tough but necessary decisions he took regarding the fuel subsidy, foreign exchange regime, and fiscal reforms, among other critical things.

“We are reforming the tax landscape, and expanding the National Social Register through which social welfare is provided to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians.

“The President has just presented his first full-year Budget to the National Assembly, the Renewed Hope Budget, focused on jobs, economic growth, macro-economic stability, ease of doing business,  poverty reduction, social security, and enhanced human capital development.

“Just this week, the Federal Government launched an SME support program, the Presidential Conditional Grant Scheme and Palliative Programs, targeting traders, artisans, transporters, vendors, and creatives with grants and low-cost loans. 1 million nano-businesses – the smallest businesses in the country – will benefit from grants of N50,000 each, while bigger businesses will be eligible to benefit from loans from a 75 Billion Naira Fund.

“These initiatives are in addition to the ones already previously announced and being implemented, like the rollout of CNG buses for deployment by State Governments, to help alleviate the impact of the petrol subsidy removal.

Now, this is where the advertising and integrated marketing communications industry comes in.

“I started by highlighting how influential you are in shaping hearts and minds. Now we need you to bring that influence to bear on helping sensitize Nigerians to the many things that the Federal and State Governments are doing to make life better for all.

“We need your creative solutions and approaches, we need your unparalleled network, and we need your platforms. This is not about propaganda or noise-making, no! Instead, it is about enlightenment, sensitization, about opening the eyes of Nigerians to see the various economic opportunities emerging around them”.

Earlier, the Director-General of ARCON, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo explained that the conference was organised to scale up the advertising regulatory framework to stimulate economic development.

On the theme of the conference, he said: ” Research has shown that marketing communication as an economic activity is strategic to the growth and development of our nation’s economy. It is the driver of a healthy and striving society”.

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