THE Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA; Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN; the National Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA, and other members of Organised Private Sector of Nigeria, OPSN, have raised alarm over worsening cases of de-marketing of businesses in Nigeria.
They pleaded with the government to urgently address the rising cases of false information and misinformation about Nigerian businesses, to stop the attendant risk of its negative impact on businesses’ economic prospect.
At a roundtable discussion, weekend, in Lagos, members of OPSN called on the Federal Government to put guidelines in place to tackle the menace of disinformation and de-marketing of Nigerian businesses, warning that the menace had caused financial and reputational damage on businesses of their member-companies.
The roundtable discussion was organized in collaboration with the Centre for International Private Enterprise, CIPE, through the service of Nextier, an Africa-focused public policy consulting firm, to conduct a study on the impact of disinformation on Nigeria’s private sector companies.
Speaking on behalf of three major business associations in the OPSN that include NECA, MAN, and NACCIMA, MAN’s Director-General, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said it was imperative for the government to legislate against disinformation, saying it would be a huge challenge for businesses, if not addressed.
“It will not be possible to completely eliminate it but we will ensure we achieve it. We will ensure we implore technology to make it robust, create enough awareness, seek government’s support and make people liable for damages done to our businesses. OPSN will continue to drive campaigns against disinformation against the private sector,” he said.
Founding Partner, Nextier, Patrick Okigbo, in his presentation, said “the private sector is highly susceptible to disinformation campaigns, resulting in loss of customer revenues and the damage may linger, even after the information is debunked.”
As part of the survey conducted, he acknowledged that Nigeria’s significant disinformation challenge seriously threatened business survival, even as he lamented that Nigeria’s disinformation was worsening
According to him, specific factors that increase the ease with which disinformation spreads worsens the challenge.
“These disinformation attacks, which are becoming almost daily, aim to engender a lack of trust in the targeted business. Nigerians create most of the disinformation while other Nigerians inadvertently disseminate them, not necessarily for malicious reasons,” he said.