By Etuka Sunday
The Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN) has slammed the Federal Government over its plan to engage the services of foreign consultants for its reputational challenges.
The association, in a statement however, advised that rather than white-washing Nigeria before the international community and its media, the Federal Government should look inward in search of local image managers that have the expertise to handle its communication and image problems.
In a statement, signed by its President, Chido Nwakanma, Vice-President, John Ehiguese, and Secretary-General, Muyiwa Akintunde, the association implored the Federal Government to discontinue the needless expedition, look inwards and engage appropriate competencies grounded in local knowledge and global expertise to tackle its reputation challenges.
“The search also misunderstands modern communication and public relations. Public Relations is based on the RACE principle – Research, Action, Communication and Evaluation- that demands strategic insight and action as the basis for engagement (communication) with stakeholders. The current run of bad press arises from a failure to set the agenda through right actions for positive media coverage of the Federal Government,” it said.
“We believe that 50 years into independence and some weeks after the World Economic Summit for Africa in Nigeria, our Government should be promoting indigenous expertise and be concerned with its standing with its internal stakeholders over and above other considerations. The Federal Government of Nigeria must desist from actions such as the recent listing requirements rolled out by the Securities and Exchange Commission for ratings agencies and this move to hire foreign publicists that says it has no faith in Nigerian professionals because that undermines the basis for its own existence,” the statement concluded.