Speech delivered by HMINO, Mohammed Idris, at the National Advertising Conference

Honorable Minister of Information & Orientation, Mohammed Idris
Honorable Minister of Information & Orientation, Mohammed Idris

Speech delivered by the Special Guest of Honour, Honourable Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, at the National Advertising Conference, held at the Bolton White Hotel, Abuja on Thursday 7th December, 2023.

Theme: Marketing Communications As An Enabler of National Transformation


  1. It is my pleasure to be here with you this morning, to open the 2023 National Advertising Conference. I’m delighted to be here with professionals from an industry whose work and impact is seen and felt in every home, indeed every corner, of the country.
  2. As marketing communications professionals, you wield an immense amount of power and influence over the minds and opinions of the populace. This power is one that as you all know comes with great responsibility. To whom much is given, it is said, much is expected.
  3. It is against this backdrop that I am expressing my delight that this year’s theme is focused on the role of marketing communications as an enabler of national transformation. It is a direct acknowledgement of the power and responsibility of your professional calling to facilitate the transformation that Nigeria requires and deserves.
  4. As you all know, we have a President who is very determined to be an agent of transformation for this country that has been blessed with incredible natural and human resources. A President who seizes every opportunity to share his vision to, I quote, “build a more just and equitable society for all Nigerians.” A President who is always quick to remind the world that he does not require sympathy or pity for the task ahead, and who does not shy away from taking responsibility for the hard but necessary decisions required to pave the path to a transformed Nigeria.
  5. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision for Nigeria is encapsulated in his Renewed Hope Agenda, which has the following objectives:
    a. Reform the economy to deliver sustained inclusive growth.
    b. Strengthen national security for peace and prosperity.
    c. Boost agriculture to achieve food security.
    d. Unlock energy and natural resources for sustainable development.
    e. Enhance infrastructure and transportation as enablers of growth.
    f. Focus on education, health, and social investment as essential pillars of development.
    g. Accelerate diversification through industrialization, digitization, creative arts, manufacturing & innovation.
    h. Improve governance for effective service delivery.
  6. These objectives fully capture the scale of the national transformation that the Bola Tinubu Administration is pursuing. And we are already on that journey.
    a. Right from Day 1 the President has been decisive – and we can see this from the tough but necessary decisions he took regarding the fuel subsidy, foreign exchange regime, and fiscal reforms, among other critical things.
  7. We are reforming the tax landscape, expanding the National Social Register through which social welfare is provided to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians. The President has just presented his first full-year Budget to the National Assembly, the Renewed Hope Budget, focused on jobs, economic growth, macro-economic stability, ease of doing business, poverty reduction, social security, and enhanced human capital development
  8. Just this week, the Federal Government launched an SME support programme, the Presidential Conditional Grant Scheme and Palliative Programs, targeting traders, artisans, transporters, vendors, and creatives with grants and low-cost loans. 1 million nano-businesses – the smallest businesses in the country – will benefit from grants of N50,000 each, while bigger businesses will be eligible to benefit from loans from a 75 Billion Naira Fund.
  9. These initiatives are in addition to the ones already previously announced and being implemented, like the rollout of CNG buses for deployment by State Governments, to help alleviate the impact of the petrol subsidy removal.
  10. Now, this is where the advertising and integrated marketing communications industry comes in. I started by highlighting how influential you are in shaping hearts and minds. Now we need you to bring that influence to bear on helping sensitize Nigerians as to the many things that the Federal and State Governments are doing to make life better for all.
  11. We need your creative solutions and approaches, we need your unparalleled network, we need your platforms. This is not about propaganda or noise-making, no! Instead, it is about enlightenment, sensitization, about opening the eyes of Nigerians to see the various economic opportunities emerging around them.
  12. If the people and businesses who are meant to benefit from the loans and grants and cash transfers are not aware, how will they benefit? How can we mobilize Nigerians in an inspiring and hopeful fashion, how can we awaken people to their rights and responsibilities as citizens of Nigeria?
  13. You as marketing communications professionals have credible answers to these questions, and are thus well positioned to serve as catalysts of Nigeria’s social and economic transformation.
  14. On our part as Government, we have pledged and are committed to making information available in a timely and credible manner. I have always said that as Minister of Information and National Orientation, I will strive to do my work with utmost openness and integrity. As we make the information available with transparency and credibility, I ask that you as communications professionals rally around to help us convey that information without sensationalism or distortion.
  15. Help us to take the messages of hope, sacrifice, opportunity and patience to every nook and cranny of the country. Help us amplify the message that, while some policy decisions may be painful in the short-term, they will yield economic rewards and prosperity over time.
  16. On this note, I would like to thank ARCON for putting this Conference together, with the support of various stakeholders, including AAAN, and others. I now declare open the 2023 National Advertising Conference, and I wish you all fruitful and insightful deliberations.
  17. Thank you and God bless.

Mohammed Idris

Minister of Information and National Orientation

Thursday, 7th December 2023