19th August, 2023
Former Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has introduced the services of his lobbyist and public relations firm, Bruit Costaud, an affiliate of a U. S. organisation, Ballard Partners USA, to the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.
Mohammed, who is the Managing Partner of the firm was in company of former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo and former minister of state in the ministry, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar during the visit to Adewale Adeniyi, the acting Comptroller General of Customs in Abuja.
The former Minister told the Comptroller General of Customs that the lobbyist firm was willing to offer services of strategic communication on the missions, visions programmes and services of the NCS.
Mohammed said the firm also offer services of strategic policies advisers and can interact with legislative arm of government on behalf of the Customs.
The former minister said the firm was not a substitute to the communications and publicity unit of the NCS, rather to complement the efforts and services and add values to what they do.
He commended Adeniyi for the innovative reforms and programmes he introduced recently in the service such as Fast-Track 2.0, and continuous deployment of technology in improving trade.
IN his response, Adeniyi, said the service will lead the way in using lobbying as a tool in governance.
The Customs boss said that many Nigerians had a misconception and in some cases a narrow understanding about lobbying.
According to him, lobbying is influencing the course of an action and making visions, agenda and programmes of an organisation acceptable to stakeholders and the people.
Adeniyi, a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and one time Vice-President of the Governing Council. International Public Relations Association said lobbying was a very important part of governance and NCS would not hesitate in deploying it.
“The field of lobbying is not unknown to me and I know that a lot of studies have been done to popularise the study of strategic communication.
“Most government establishments and private organisations find it difficult to drive their visions and missions to make them convincing and acceptable to stakeholders and the people in general.
“The mistake being made is that, in creating awareness of the visions, they deploy the common methods of publicity through news platforms which are completely different from strategic communication.
“About three years ago, NIPR hosted the first workshop on lobbying and the intention was to make it popular among students and scholars of mass communication,” the public relation guru says.
Adeniyi assured the visiting team that the NCS would consider their proposal and work with them.