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 new image and reputation for the country.
The Director General of the Agency Dr. Garba Abari made this appeal when he received in audience some members of the local planning committee of the Congress led by former Director General of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Dr. Toni Iredia, saying a new narrative that will encourage investment and boost its image among foreign countries need to be designed and implemented.
He regretted that despite the effort of Agencies like the NOA, some Nigerians still give foreigners the impression that all is not well in Nigeria. For him, the single narrative of Nigeria as a place of poverty, insecurity, hunger, sickness and corruption has misled undiscerning members of the world community 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 by the team for NOA to intensify public enlightenment around the country on the stable of improved security, law and order, sanitation and good attitudes towards visitors, Dr 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 World Congress of IPI will hold in Abuja in June and is expected to be attended by 350 delegates including five African Heads of Governments.