FG to re-open information offices abroad, plans new image management

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku

The Information Ministry intends to partner with international reputation to sell Nigeria to the world.

 

Nigeria will re-open information offices abroad, the Information Minister, Labaran Maku, told newsmen in London on Friday.

Mr. Maku said the Federal Government gave an approval for the information offices in foreign counties.

He said with approval, information offices would be re-established in some key economic capitals of the world including the U.K., U.S. ,China, and Germany.

The minister , however, did not disclose when the offices would be operational. He expressed the hope that it would be captured in the 2013 budget.

Nigeria’s information offices abroad were closed in 2003 in a bid to improve domestic operations.

The Minister , however, said that without the offices in place, the nation’s embassies and missions abroad had the mandatory duty to provide information about the country.

He said the ministries of Information and Foreign Affairs are currently in partnership to use embassies to develop a programme of information campaign for investment in several countries, citing Brazil as example.

Mr. Maku also spoke on strategies mapped out by the ongoing 13th  Meeting of the Honorary International Investors Council, HIIC, to improve the nation’s image to enhance investment  drive.

He said the measures include, partnering with international reputation managers to sell the Nigeria story using the media, among others.

“We need to coordinate these by getting a few international reputation management firms abroad that will partner with us to sell Nigeria to the critical audience around the world.

“We need to do more in terms of placing  the  Nigerian story in prime platforms like, the  Financial Times, Wall street Journal, The  Economist of London, and several other international platforms to review the Nigerian economic reforms and opportunities.

“May be we place stories every quarter there. We can also come out for road shows on the specific sectors of the economy and the opportunities they offer,” Mr. Maku said.

The minister also stressed the need for the Nigerian communities in Diaspora to be involved in the image management project of government.

He said the government  needs to meet with Nigerians in the Diaspora and engage them so that they could be agents of the Nigerian story.

The 13th HIIC meeting holding in London, also featured presentation by the Ministers of Trade and Investment, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment  Promotion Council.

HIIC coordinated by British born Baroness Lynda Chalker, is an organisation of prominent investors from around the world who advise governments on economic development.

The council’s partnership with Nigeria includes, promoting the fight for reduction of corruption, attracting foreign direct investment, and promoting a private sector driven economy.


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