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Nigeria’s brand now sellable to global community — Abiodun

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…Tasks public relations practitioners to project Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda

By Omobolaji Adekunle, Abeokuta

The Ogun State Tinubu-led administration aimed at putting the country on the right economic trajectory have started yielding positive results.

According to him, Nigeria has now become an attractive brand that is sellable in the global community, saying it is incumbent on public relations specialists  to start selling Nigeria’s renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu around the world as a way of attracting more investments to boost the real sector of the economy.

The Governor spoke at the maiden edition of Nigeria Public Relations Week with the theme: Leveraging Public Relations As A Critical Asset For Nigeria’s Economic And Reputation Renaissance, held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta.

Abiodun, who was conferred as the Patron of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, also informed the practitioners of the need to help in showcasing the potentials that abound in Ogun State through their professional ingenuity.

Governor Abiodun emphasised the need for all Nigerians to be involved in promoting the good image of the country at all times.

He said, “Exploring the power and passion of public relations to engender speedy development and sustainable growth for an economic and reputational renaissance, as the theme of this week implies, is intrinsically an essential requirement for any government.

“I recall that in the last few months and following the appointment of the CBN Governor,  Mr Yemi Cardoso, as he rolled out his road map of monetary policies he kept on emphasising on the determination to embark on new public relations policy for the bank which has led to the successful management of forex.

“I want to say this exactly defines the leadership being provided by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to change the old order and entrench the image of a promising country with a consciousness of sustainability. Indeed, there can not be branding without a product.

“The right steps being taken by the Federal Government towards total regurgitation of the Nigerian macroeconomy, via the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr. President who started with very bold and decisive goals that have begun to yield positive and desired results to the admiration of patriotic Nigerians and the astonishment of pessimists.”

Abiodun noted that some of the economic policies such as the removal of fuel subsidy and the floating of naira introduced by the government at the centre to revamping the nation’s economy have started yielding positive results as the local currency gains momentum on a daily basis.

The governor described public relations as a strategic communication from an organization to the public to maintain or cultivate confidence and response to public discussion, adding that it remains the critical asset for any responsive government in the quest to build a vibrant economy and sustainable growth.

Public relations, the Governor averred, focuses on the goals of an organisation rather than the specific methods, saying it proffers necessary direction during economic turbulence, shape images and reputations, calling on the practitioners to help project the image of the State and country in a positive way.

He explained that the state government since inception has embarked on massive infrastructural amenities towards creating an enabling environment to improve on ease of doing business in the state which he said has made the state to be a choice of investment and fastest growing economy in the country

The Governor while promising more developmental projects across the state, said that the current administration has constructed over 500 kilometres of roads across the state to ease movement of the people, rehabilitated over 100 Primary Health Centres, and built over 4000 affordable houses as well as tackle insecurity by equipping security agencies with modern gadgets and patrol vehicles.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Muhammed Idris, represented by the Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Alhaji Isa Lanre Onilu, in his remarks, said for Nigeria to realized her collective vision, there was the need for Nigerians to celebrate their achievements as well as chart a new way forward.

While calling for the use of power of communication, the Minister maintained that it was imperative for practitioners to fight against quackery and sanitise the profession, saying his mission was to restore trust in public communication, amplify good policies and programmes, inspired and reoriented national values, recognise quality and talents in the federal government information and communication system and create an enabling environment for the media to thrive.

President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Dr. Ike Neliaku, said public relations is all about management of reputation and perception as the difference between one country and another is reputation.

He said practitioners of public relations are making important contributions all over the world, saying that it is important to allow them to perform their duties without hindrance, as the profession is a key to all things, as no organization or government could go far without adequate management of reputations and relationships.

Dr. Neliaku said Ogun State was chosen to host the event considering its position in terms of recording firsts in the country, emphasizing that governor Abiodun was conferred with the title in accordance with the constitution of the institute that allowed it to honour any governor with track record and that has impacted significantly in development of his state.

The governor, who was made a patron of the institute, also donated a brand new bus and a befitting secretariat to the Ogun branch of the institute.

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Senate summons Minister of Education over stranded Nigerian students abroad

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The Senate, on Tuesday, summoned the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, and the leadership of the Federal Scholarship Board over the delay in the payment of outstanding grants to Nigerian students stranded in other countries.

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to impose appropriate sanctions on officials responsible for the pain and suffering the students are going through.

This is just as the upper legislative chamber said Prof. Tahir would provide a detailed report on the status of all Nigerian students under international scholarship programmes including a breakdown of their unpaid entitlements.

The Senate in plenary on Tuesday also urged its President, Godswill Akpabio, to, as a matter of urgency, “carry out a holistic investigation into the matter and ensure that necessary measures are taken to rectify this situation promptly.”

The resolution of the Senate followed a motion on a matter of urgent importance moved by the lawmaker representing Kwara Central Senatorial District, Salihu Mustapha.

He said, “These scholarships are part of a broader initiative to promote specialised education through partnerships with foreign institutions, facilitated by entities such as the Federal Scholarship Board under the Federal Ministry of Education.

“This initiative supports the government’s commitment to Bilateral Education Agreements and Multilateral Agreements with the Commonwealth and other international partners.

“There are reports of Nigerian students facing hardships in Algeria, China, Morocco, Russia and the United Kingdom due to non-payment of tuition and living stipends, leading to negative media coverage and national embarrassment.

“The recurrence of these issues suggests systemic failures, despite previous interventions by this distinguished chamber to prevent such situations.”

He added, “The Federal Government’s failure to meet its financial commitments under these international agreements for over ten months, will jeopardise the welfare and academic progress of the affected students.

“The failure to fulfil these obligations not only undermines our national reputation but also poses significant diplomatic concerns and risks pushing our students towards unlawful activities to sustain their livelihood abroad.”

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Shettima, Atiku, others attend Lamorde’s burial in Abuja

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Dignitaries from various walks of life gathered at the National Mosque in Abuja on Tuesday to pay their last respects to a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde.

Vice President Kashim Shettima; National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu; and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar were among those who attended Lamorde’s  Jannazah (funeral prayer).

Also in attendance were the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum and the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintri, among others.

PUNCH Online earlier reported the burial schedule as announced by a former Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, on his X handle.

The former EFCC boss died at the age of 61 in Egypt while undergoing medical treatment on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Atiku has prayed that Allah grant the deceased eternal rest.

Taking to his X, he posted, “It was with a heavy heart that I joined the funeral prayer for the late Ibrahim Lamorde at the National Mosque this afternoon.

“I pray that his family and friends be comforted. May Allah SWT forgive his sins and grant him a peaceful return. Amin.”

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Senate passes bill to reintroduce old national anthem

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The Senate has passed the bill seeking to make provision for Nigeria to revert to its old national anthem.

The Upper Chamber passed the bill following deliberations on a report presented by Tahir Monguno, the chair of the judiciary committee.

The Senate decision followed that of the House of Representatives which earlier passed the bill.

The old anthem “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” was replaced with the current one “Arise, O Compatriots in 1978.

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