Abuja - The Executive Director, Small and Medium Scale Industries, Bank of Industry, Mr Waheed Olagunju, on Thursday said Nigeria had the potential to be among the 20 best economies in the world by 2020.
Olagunju stated this in Abuja at the 2015 National Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
In a paper entitled “Building a Sustainable Non-Oil Economy for Nigeria: The Stake of Public Relations’’, he said that Nigeria would attain the economic projection if it intensified its economic diversification effort.
“In spite of the present economic downturn, manufacturing is growing in Nigeria. For instance, Nigeria has turned from a cement importer nation to a cement exporter nation.
“The country is already diversifying and moving away from a mono-economy. With this development, it can truly be among the top 20 economies in the world by the year 2020.
“We can adopt the Mexico model, which has in the past 20 years increased non-oil exports exponentially to about 80 per cent,’’ he said.
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Olagunju, however, called on public relations practitioners to continually build the country’s image by projecting the country in a positive light.
He also called on the media not to disseminate negative information about the country, adding that such could adversely affect its efforts at growth and development.
“Public relations executives should always project the great potential and resources of Nigeria. The mass media should avoid portraying Nigeria as an unsafe place by always dishing out negative stories.
“This is because communication is very strategic to the rebuilding of the nation’s economy,’’ he said.