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Communique of the 17th Edition Of the NECCIPR Roundtable Held On 26th October 2017

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017  01.58PM / NECCIPR 

INTRODUCTION 
The 17th Edition of the NECCIPR Roundtable held on October 26, 2017 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos. The event presents a platform for the discussion of prevailing Public Relations challenges facing the industry and the country at large. 

The 2017 NECCIPR Roundtable attracted participants and speakers from across the public and private sectors of the economy. Guests included Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented by Senior Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programme, Barr Ismail Ahmed; former Governor of Cross River State, His Excellency Donald Duke; President, Africa  Public Relations Association, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, President Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria, John Ehiguese; Mr. Olufemi Awoyemi, Managing Director, Proshare Limited, Mr, Ade Bajomo, Executive Director, Nigeria Stock Exchange, Mr. Sola Adebawo, Manager – Communications Policy, Government & Public Affairs, Chevron, Ibim Semenitari, Former Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Niger Delta Development Commission, Mark Anthony Chidolue Dike, Former Director of Tax Policy, FIRS, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, Senior Special Assistant  to the President of Nigeria on Industry, Trade and Investment  among many others. 

Papers presented reflected on the challenges of investor relations especially in the quest by Nigeria to drive sustainable foreign direct investment. 

It was noted that:

1.       Relationship between companies, nations and their publics are shaped by interactions. Public Relations enables visibility management, driving relationships and fostering mutual understanding. For countries, PR is the creator of positive investment ambience that oils the value chain from production to consumption and manages conversations that define the road to market and how to stay there. 

2.      This current government in Nigeria is grossly under-communicated. 

3.      Investor relations is critical to managing relationships between businesses and investors. It fosters a window for long distance investors to make decisions for investments outside their shores. 

4.      Investment potentials of Nigeria is the most potent in the world but corruption and insecurity are major threats. 

5.      Investor relations management will enable Nigeria adopt global best practices to position the country as safe and potent capital destinations. Transparency will ease bureaucracy and facilitate ease of doing business. 

6.      Nigeria has a perception challenge that has negatively impacted its potentials as capital destination. Poor communication of the nation’s own perspectives on global issues has been responsible for this situation. 

7.      Communicating governments activities and drawing attention to the investment potentials of a nation is a task that should not be left for government because governments do not do a good job of telling their own stories. They need to work with professionals, especially those in the private sector that are not involved in the day-to-day activities of governance to tell these stories better and to targeted publics. 

8.     Public Relations people are necessary in properly communicating government activities to the ordinary people. In a country of prevalent illiteracy, understanding certain technical policy issues might be difficult. PR is therefore needed to cascade the conversation and ensure it reaches the ordinary man in the form and context within their frames of reference. 

Resolutions
Speakers and discussants at the event resolved that: 
1.       There is urgent need to revamp the Nigerian narrative to maximize potentials in trapping potential investors. 

2.      The objectives of all communications about the country must be properly articulated with details that enable understanding, buy-in and engagement. Conversations must be as consistent as it should be dynamic. Running an “Open government” will enable better content creation and engagement by those saddled to market the country and target prospective investors. 

3.      The media in Nigeria should strive to positively influence conversations about Nigeria through deliberate focus on positive issues. 

4.      The population of Nigeria, estimated to hit 200million by 2020 must be managed to ensure it is a blessing to the country in the areas of market, manpower and management. 

5.      The challenges of insecurity currently facing the country must be holistically addressed to address the concerns of potential investors and citizens. 

6.      There is need to mobilize indigenous investors and reduce focus on foreign investors. When there is internal buy-in and participation, foreign investors in search of fertile capital destinations will most likely begin to come. 

7.      The Financial services industry need to provide stronger support for the businesses, especially local investment portfolios. In an environment with prohibitive cost of business, banks should do a lot more to drive businesses by making access to credit easy and affordable. Economic growth can only happen when interest rate is between 7 and 8 percent. 

8.  Government needs to be consistent on policy issues to engender the consistency needed for investments to thrive. 

9.      Nigeria needs to take advantage of a number of” low hanging fruits” in the economy. 

10.  Exchange rate is wrong bases for rating the economy. The indices should be job creation. 

11.   There is need for a paradigm shift to reposition the country from its present “goodwill economic regime” where government spoon-feeds the rest of the economy.

12.  Emphasis should shift from trade to service and Diaspora remittances to create the right stimulus for economic development. 

13.  Every state in Nigeria should plan to become an economic entity within Nigeria. 

14.  Trust building is a critical ingredient of business relationships. For Government as well as businesses, it is important to build trust through transparency ownership and sustainability with stakeholders. 

15.   Nigeria must begin to structure monetary policy issues to ensure it captures the critical demographic which is the household. 

16.  Reliance on export revenue has not and will not help Nigeria build a vibrant economy. 

17.   Security, creating support structures for investment, capacity building, ease of capital movement, dispute resolution among others are critical enablers for FDI. Creating enabling policy framework around these are fundamental to attracting and sustaining investment. 

18.  Transparency in information dissemination and other critical aspects of a nation’s global position are critical to successful international business relationship management. 

19.  Government has a role in attracting investment but the PR industry has its role in creating the right image to attract those investments. 

20. There is need for the country to deliberately define what it wishes to be known for and work in organized forms to ensure it gains traction in and outside the country. 

21.  The Media has a job of galvanizing all national and international stakeholders in aggregating the Nigerian perspective to the world. 

22. Transparency on Fiscal issues is important in managing perception of government activities by both local and foreign targets for investments. 

23. Government must live up to its responsibilities to citizens so as to extract voluntary compliance and positive citizenship behavior. 

24. There must be clearly erected and defined “Monuments of deterrents” and “Monuments of reference” to ensure that the right examples are laid down for the all. 

Mrs Nkechi Ali-Balogun                                               Yomi Badejo-Okusanya

 Convener                                                                                     Chairman, Board of Directors 

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