Make your friends before you need them, Don advises Government on public relations

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[Osun]–A Professor of Mass Communication in Bowen University Iwo, Prof. Victoria Ajala has tasked the Federal government of Nigeria to use Public Relations as part of its tools in fighting corruption in the country.

The Don made this known during the inaugural lecture series two titled ” Public Relations: Making Your Friends Before You Need Them”

Prof. Ajala alighted several roles public relations plays in fostering development in every organization, state, and country.

She said “Part of what the public relations will do is to stimulate good governance by fighting corruption and the media is playing its watchdog role has the responsibility of being the intermediary between the government and the governed, which is a critical link between the function of the media and good governance. Without transparency and accountability, trust would be lacking between the government and the governed and this could result in social instability and an environment not conducive for economic growth.

“Governments become unstable when they muzzle the media ; they become blind to the problems of the people and because governments have the tendency to hide things , ( news is what somebody wants to hide ), we need to be vigilant. The market reacts negatively to untrue stories , and this affects the credibility of government.

“The Nigerian media should go beyond the mere reporting of the EFCC’ s dramatic arrests and the government’s almost daily pronouncement that it would not relent in the war against corruption. The media should go further to examine the inadequacies in our institutional and legislative frame works that make it so easy for politicians to have unrestrained access to the public treasure and help themselves . It would be in the greater public interest if the media help to build a governance system that prevents corruption.

“However, the profession will give aide to improvement in agricultural communication. The decline in oil prices In the recent past has forced a rethinking of Nigeria’s economy, and our leaders seem to agree that agricultural commercialization is the best strategy to beat the resultant recession.

“It must be stressed that an agricultural revolution without a matching  industrial revolution is bound to be futile.Female farmers ,  are advantaged by lack of access to land, funding and technological expertise . Male farmers are not better off either; they lack the facilities for large scale farming, even as only the old remain on the job now

“Media report of the recent fund disbursements to farmers by the government do not seem to change things.

“The recent call by the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to the federal government to plan buy-back from farmers to boost food security is quite welcome. Nigeria needs more agricultural communicators/ extension workers to reach the right target audience in order to make agriculture a foreign exchange earner.

“Nigeria government should begin to seek public opinion to know what exactly the target audiences need and how to get it to them. Government and audiences are never on the same page probably because of politics,” she added.

Prof. Victoria also advocate public relations for projects and developing Nigeria’s creative sector and communicating with children and youths.

She added that ” Art and culture industry has tremendous potentials to contribute significantly to the economic growth of the nation.

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