Divergent views trail proposed 2024 budget by FG

By Seun Johnson
The presentation of 2024 appropriation bills by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the National Assembly recently, has triggered divergence of views from various practitioners and stakeholders in the marketing and advertising eco- system.
Tinubu had presented an estimated budget of 27 trillion naira covering all sectors with an expectation that the economy will grow by 3.76 percent in the fiscal year.
Notwithstanding the various stages the bills will go through at the Senate before getting approval and becoming a law, Chief Marketing Officers, advertising and Public Relations experts held different opinions on their expectations of the budget in 2024.
Speaking to MARKETING EDGE on the sidelines of the Industry Women Conference held on Thursday at Shebba Hall, Ikeja Lagos, some practitioners expressed optimism, while others identified certain grey areas the government needs to look into, in order for the budget to achieve its maximum potential.
According to Tolu Medebem, Lead Consultant Aster Integrated Marketing Limited, things are hard generally at the moment, especially in the industry but she 7s hopeful that it will get better as the country gets into the New Year.
For Ogor Ofomata, Director of Sales and Marketing, Airtel, there is need to identify what is in the budget for education.
“One of the things we have to look at is, what is in the budget for education? And from there, we need to look at the data because we don’t want to make a decision based on anecdote. We want to make decisions that are data-driven. So we want to say where are we today and where do we want to go and why? And if there are not enough women in the marketing communication, l think we need more women,” she stated.
On his part, Gboyega Akosile, the Chief Press Secretary to Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, opined that if the capital expenditure is above the recurrent expenditure, the budget will definitely make a robust impact on the industry.
Akosile, who was once a key player in the industry, revealed that when there is more budget for infrastructural development, everybody will be happy because there will be more money in the economy and marketing communication industry will have its fair share.
Also speaking, Ogochukwu Geraldine Ejeike, Corporate Communication Manager, Flower Mill of Nigeria, noted that conversations will be more direct and experiential next year.
“If you look at trends in the marketing communications space, you are going to see that first, the audience have become very active. So conversations are going to be more direct, more experiential. People are going to engage your brands, patronize your brands because you are the brand. They are going to do it based on how your brand makes them feel, how it solves the modern day problem for them.
“Another one is the use of technology to match the audience with products so that is the way marketing communication will go in 2024. We are going to get direct and targeted conversation where the audience are going to be for those that want to buy a particular product. They are going to target them directly using artificial intelligence,” she said.
In her view, Mrs. Nkechi Ali Balogun, founder and Principal Consultant, NECCI Consulting, sees the prospect of the proposed budget ushering Nigerians out of the present economic situation.
“I want to assume that the budget would have talked about possibilities of moving out from this sufferings in the country. There is need to alleviate the problems people are going through right now because a happy people is a happy nation. A happy nation is a productive nation. In the budget, I see instruments that will help us rebuild our nation in terms of reputation management. I also believe the budget will focus on education. It is time we stop playing lip service to education,” she said.
According to Mrs. Olubunmi Oke, CEO and Lead Consultant, Ladybird Limited, government gives more money to the creative industry because it believes marketing and creative industry are all in an ecosystem that supports each other.
“One area I think there is a challenge is the mix up of creative industry. Advertising and marketing communication is not only part of a creative industry, we are also a business Industry in marketing and communication. Government has given more money to the creative industry because they believe we are all in an ecosystem that supports each other.
“I want government to understand that the marketing and communication industry utilizes a lot of people in the creative industry like the Nollywood. But we are more than that. We work with all the creative industry because they provide auxiliary services to the marketing and advertising communication industry which is also an arm of the marketing communication sphere.
“I advise government to look into marketing Nigeria to Nigerians and non-Nigerians. The concept of Nigeria should first be sold to Nigerians. Let us also believe that we are great as Nigerians and then we can now use that as an ambassador to market Nigerians to the world. If Nigeria as a country, have a marketing budget for a brand, Nigeria as a business, so how do we take Nigeria from x to z? I think that is the kind of thing we are looking for,” she said.
Also baring his mind on the appropriation bills, Udeme Ufot, Group Managing Director, SO&U, posited that the total figure proposed for 2024 does not reflect the status of Nigeria compared to the budget of other smaller countries in Africa.
“When you compare the total figure, 27 trillion naira to other African countries with smaller population, it is so small. If the budget is so weak in terms of number, the ability to make an impact is a challenge.
“Secondly, how the budget itself will be financed is a challenge. Right now, we are struggling for revenue. The president went to solicit for Senate’s approval to borrow some money this week. Borrowing such money means that we have to pay back. So a debt settlement will be a serious clog on our neck.
“Thirdly, how the money itself is used is another thing. We have not shown efficiency in how we manage resources. A lot of Nigeria’s budget is wasted. To put it bluntly, the money is stolen. Have we crossed our corruption hurdles? Even as small as the budget is, will every single Kobo be spent as budgeted or will it end up in some people’s pocket? That itself is a challenge.
“When you have that kind of budget size, what impact do you expect it to make on the real sector? Companies are leaving Nigeria. One of the biggest problems we have in Nigeria at the moment is infrastructure. So how much impact will this budget have on infrastructure?” the advertising legend asked.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    No comments found.