By Egufe Yafugborhi, PORT HARCOURT
NIGERIAN Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has expressed fears that 2023 general elections could suffer jeopardy and chaos if the worsening struggles being witnessed by the nation’s economy are not checked against looming collapse as more citizens are forced into hardship.
NIPR expressed the concern in a communique issued at the July 2021 edition of the Professional Development Series of the Rivers State Chapter of the body in Port Harcourt with the theme “Managing A New Normal: Bank Staff In Nigeria Expand Stakeholder Role to Chase Loan Defaulters.”
Chinedum Emeana, Public Relations Officer, NIPR Rivers noted that “This theme was inspired by the viral video of some first-generation bank staff gathering at a Nigerian Senator’s house on a self-help loan recovery effort, possibly in a bid to keep the bank afloat”
He said, “Participants expressed regret that while leading nations in the world are creating incentives to stimulate their economies to achieve high productivity and be more competitive, Nigerian government acts as if the economy does not matter. Citizens must be concerned because the economy is our present and future.
“The communique added that the growing unemployment and mass poverty in the country show that the economy is being crippled by lawless behaviour, self-centred focus and monopoly of public revenue by the few who hold political power.
“Participants also called on Nigerians to rally around first-generation bank staff by making urgent demand on both state and federal governments to keep the bank afloat by making people accountable for reckless behaviour with depositors’ funds which threaten employment or security of law-abiding citizens, and survival of the banking industry.”
The communique urged NIPR in all states of Nigeria to provide credible platforms for citizens, groups, who appear to have no voice or powerless like the Heritage Bank staff, to stand as active stakeholder groups and learn to use legitimate means to ensure that business organizations are run with efficiency and competitiveness to guarantee sustainable employment and other positive benefits in the economy.
Amaopusenibo Bobo Sofiri Brown, CEO of GRAIN Consulting and former National President of NIPR, was the lead presenter and led a robust discussion on the subject matter with participants comprising members of NIPR, public and private sector establishments, and the academia.