The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has called on citizens to support the implementation of government policies to achieve desired positive results.
Sanwo-Olu made the call on Tuesday at the 17th International Public Relations Congress organised by the Business Education Examinations Council (BEEC) with the theme: “Re-building Trust, Mutual Understanding and Harmony for National Development”.
The programme holds from Aug.15 to Aug. 17, 2023 at Caeser’s Luxury Hotel, Lekki, Lagos State.
The governor was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ms Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin.
He said that gaining the trust of citizens in this regard required sustained and unremitting effort to transform the state and country to make life better for the people.
“The theme is a calling for human progress, good governance and equitable society in view of the current global challenges.
“This has necessitated government across the world especially developing countries to take difficult decisions necessary to reposition their economies in the path of sustainable growth.
“Consequently, as public relations professionals, your expertise and experience are required in managing and shaping the people’s perspective regarding these government policies that will engender confidence and mutual trust,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor reiterated that public relations professionals should inform and persuade the public to maintain positive and favourable attitude that would engender the desired confidence and mutual trust.
According to him, once this lofty goal is attained, there will be mutual understanding and harmony which are essential to “achieve our national and development goals”.
“In an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding, the citizens will be willing to make the needed sacrifices since they understand that the policies and programmes implemented are indeed for long term benefit.
“Peace and development remain the calling of our times because in that atmosphere, enormous opportunities for social and economic development are created and will exist sustainably,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu, therefore, implored public relations professionals to brace up to the responsibilities of the current socio-economic realities and come up with strategies that would enable us achieve the lofty goals.
“As leaders, we must also demonstrate genuine and sincere commitment to the plight of the people by being more accountable, transparent and proactive in the implementation process,” he said.
According to the governor, his administration’s development T.H.E.M.E.S Plus Agenda strives to make new progress in building a moderately prosperous society in an all around way that will benefit all residents of Lagos State.
“Under our THEMES+ agenda, more progress will be made in science, health, environment, education, better livability regarding infrastructure, transport and traffic management.
“Our culture will be further enriched as governance will be all inclusive where women, gender equality and children development will be on our top burner.
“Our agenda is people oriented, comprehensive, all inclusive, balanced and sustainable,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu added that his THEMES+ agenda would also remove physical isolation and mutual exclusion by eliminating obstacles and obstruction of the mind as well as overcome various prejudices and misunderstandings hence our all inclusivity plus.
“We intend to pursue rigorous communication of our ideology and developmental plan with a view of reducing to the barest minimum all excuses of mutual confrontation and misunderstanding between us and the citizenry.
“This will be achieved by enhancing and promoting dialogue and interaction between the government and the governed as well as draw on each others strengths.
“This, we believe, is the road to greater Lagos and greater happiness for all Lagosians,” the governor said.
The governor expressed confidence in the congress producing new ideas and strategies that would engender more people’s confidence and contribute further to the social and economic development.
Also speaking, the President of BEEC, Mazi Mike Okereke, said that in a polarised world where there is mistrust and misunderstanding, the need for Public Relations best practices to occupy the centre stage of governance cannot be overemphasised.
According to him, it is wrong to call on public relations to promote or defend policies in which their input was sought at the planning stage.
He said that when nations prepare national development plans without a backup public relations strategy to leverage the plan, the resultant effect is a failure.
He emphasised that for any national plan to succeed, the key stakeholders must be carried along while citizens and other stakeholders must all buy into the plan. (NAN)