The Federal Government’s Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has expressed its readiness to partner with Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), the umbrella body responsible for the professional practice of public relations in Nigeria with a view to develop a robust communication strategy to effectively; inform, educate, enlighten and engage with Nigerians on the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was made known recently by the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF) and the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, Mr. Boss Mustapha while briefing the media on the updates of the activities of the Task Force.
“I am happy to inform you that our risk communication strategy has been enhanced by the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN). The professional body has offered the services of its members pro bono to the PTF, in order to strategically and effectively communicate with more Nigerians on this pandemic. The PTF appreciates this offer and look forward to consolidating the relationship,” he said.
Mustapha thanked the association for offering to provide their quality service pro bono to the government, assuring them that government would be looking forward to consolidating the relationship going forward.
Mustapha stated that the PTF would leverage on existing community structures and assets available from the top to the ward level to push through a massive public awareness campaign aimed at ensuring voluntary community engagement and ownership of the fight against COVID-19.
In his reaction, the President, Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), Mr. Israel Jaiye Opayemi described the development as a welcome one that would afford the association the opportunity to bring its professional expertise to support the efforts of the Federal Government free of charge in this emergency.
“The nation is at war. We are fighting an invisible enemy in the form of the ravaging virus. In any war, communication is always critical to victory. Your communication rests on a strategy. The word strategy itself has a military origin. Your strategy determines whether you are wasting money and wasting human lives in a war. This is where we are stepping in to support the PTF. This is our calling. Our role is to help evaluate the current strategy and where necessary refine it for greater results.”
Opayemi further hinted that PRCAN’s role will be more advisory than executional. “We are not taking over from those who are currently doing the job. We are only bringing our professional expertise to bear on what is being done with a view to sharing knowledge and improving it from the best practices’ standpoint.” He also disclosed that the association will be naming members of the PRCAN Covid-19 Advisory Team that will be working with the PTF in the next few days now that the association has received formal communication from the PTF describing those who will serving in the advisory team as “ best of breed professionals that Nigeria and indeed Africa can boast of with years of professional experience managing crisis locally and internationally,”
Opayemi who expressed deep appreciation to the PTF Chairman, Mr. Boss Mustapha for his exemplary leadership and Minister for Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed for his guidance on the strategic partnership stated that their actions are testament of a resolve to harness all available talents and resources to strengthen the war and defeat Covid-19 in the shortest possible time.