I am delighted to be here to chair this fourth edition of the Industry Summit/Awards, put together not just to brainstorm on the state of our marketing communication industry but to celebrate some of our best people and organisations. I salute the sense of purpose of the Convener of this event,
Mr. Goddie Ofose, and his team on December 29 Media Ltd, publishers of The Industry Newspaper.
- That said, the first thing that struck me on receipt of the invitation to be here was the theme of the
Summit: How Marketers Should Handle 2023. It struck me for obvious reasons.
- It cannot be said enough that 2023 is an auspicious year, not just for Marketers, but for Nigeria and for Nigerians. In my many years growing up in Nigeria, I cannot easily recall any particular year that has held the fate of our nation, so to speak, by the jugular. First, 2023 is an election year. Secondly, 2023 is a year set aside for the conduct of the national population and housing census. Both events have wide-ranging implications for our country.
- Whether deliberately or unwittingly, both events from the outset, were planned to hold back-to-back.
We are already done with the general elections. Voters and the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) have played their parts. Now, the courts have taken over, to seal or upturn the people’s mandate. But then, that’s the beauty of democracy.
- For good reasons however, the national population census has been shifted to the month of May. Its outcome, will expectedly will have far-reaching implications for the country. But if history is anything to go by, we should expect a lot of controversies, though the National Population Commission (NPC), is promising otherwise. Be rest assured, however, that the outcome of both events will impact how Marketers handle 2023 and subsequent years. How positively or negatively, remains a matter of conjecture.
- What we do know, however, is that the Marketing Communication Industry in Nigeria, will not be immune from both local and global trends. For example, the World Bank in its Global Economic
Prospects (January 2023) makes it clear that the pronounced weaknesses of the United States,
Europe and China, which are described as ‘the world’s three major engines of growth, would have
‘adverse spillovers for emerging markets and developing economies.’ This is not hard to understand.
- I am not an Economist, but it is safe to say that Marketers should expect a bumpy ride in 2023. In
Nigeria, for instance, when you throw in a mish-mash of the country’s low crude production, weak exports, the dynamics of the workplace and importantly, a budget deficit of N11.34trillion, derived from a projected total revenue of N10.49 trillion and total expenditure of N21.83 trillion, budgeted by the outgoing Buhari administration, it is easy to infer that the picture is far from rosy either for the country’s economy or, more strongly, for us in the Marketing Communication Industry. I leave the rest to our Financial Experts and Egg Heads in the incoming administration.
- But the story is not all gloom. As we all know, Nigeria, more than even some more developed economies, is a land of opportunities. We only need to get our acts together, rid the system of corruption and lethargy and we shall rise again. That’s the reason I also align myself with the thinking of the organisers of this event in their choice of topics for discussion today. Two of these are critical, the first being Turn “Data to Action: How Marketers can Rationalize Performance
Measurements and Drive Efficiencies with Intelligence and, secondly, “FMCG: Impact of Government Policy Shifts on the Industry”.
- Even before we hear from our lead speakers, one can safely say with no gift of clairvoyance that measurements, efficiencies, intelligence and government policy shifts are the operative parameters for renewed economic growth. They are at the core of our operations in the industry. They determine what we get right and what gets us headed in the wrong direction. Granting the issues that these parameters will throw up, I have no doubt that we are in for a robustly engaging time at these sessions.
- My duty therefore, is to set the tone for our deliberations, your duty as participants, is to effectively, interrogate all perspectives, in a manner that makes it possible for us, at the end of the sessions to be better informed on how to navigate our unpredictable 2023.
- With this therefore, it’s my pleasure to declare open THE INDUSTRY SUMMIT/AWARDS Talk Session and look forward to seeing you all, later this evening, as we recognise and celebrate individuals and organisations that have done our Industry proud in 2022. Congratulations in advance.
- I thank you all for listening and wish us fruitful deliberations.
SIR STEVE BAMIDELE OMOJAFOR, OON, frpa
MARCH 31, 2023