As Nigeria prepares to host the 2018 world Congress of the International Press Institute (IPI), the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on citizens to join hands with government institutions to build a reputable image for the country.
The Director General of the Agency Dr. Garba Abari made the appeal when he received members of the Local Planning Committee of the Congress led by former Director-General of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Dr. Tonnie Iredia, saying a new narrative that will encourage investment and boost the nation’s image among foreign countries needed to be designed and implemented.
He regretted that despite the efforts of agencies like the NOA, some Nigerians still give foreigners the impression that all is not well in Nigeria.
Abari added that the single narrative of Nigeria as a place of poverty, insecurity, hunger, sickness and corruption has misled undiscerning members of the world on the numerous potentials and universal values for which the country is known for.
The Director General acknowledged the salutary benefits of receiving delegates from several countries, especially journalists, pointing out that delegates will become the mouthpieces of the country when they return to their countries.
On the request that NOA should intensify public enlightenment around the country on the stable of improved security, law and order, sanitation and good attitudes towards visitors, Abari said the agency will boost its campaigns using its wide spread presence and platforms.
Dr. Iredia who is chairman of the media and publicity sub-committee of the LOC said the visit was to encourage the agency to do more in public enlightenment and awareness about the aim of bringing the congress to the country which is to build a new image for Nigeria.
The team also wants the NOA to lead the media and other opinion moulders to stress more on development issues rather than politics and insecurity.
The IPI World Congress is scheduled to hold in Abuja in June with about 350 delegates expected, including five African heads of governments.