From “Giant in the Sun” to the controversial “Hearts of Africa” and now, “Nigeria, Good People, Great Nation,” Nigeria has re-branded itself three times in a matter of 20 years.
The first question that we must ask is, why rebrand Nigeria? For a common man to understand my argument, products, nations and destinations are rebranded for various reasons, but principally on account of its “unattractiveness” to those that should be patronizing it or like it. Again, it could also be a failed product/products or nation/nations that need to reawaken itself to the consciousness of the consumers/international community as in the case of Nigeria as a nation.
Today, Nigeria is an unattractive brand to the international community and even to Nigerians at home and in the Diasporas. It has been so because it is a failed nation. It has failed its citizenry and the international community. Is it in the area of good leadership or prudent management of its wealth or what?
How can a nation that cannot guarantee regular power supply, provide good roads, protect its citizens wherever they are, whose institutions and hospitals are in bad shape, rebrand itself without conscious and concrete move to fix the aforementioned?
You can tell the Europeans and the Americans that Nigerians are suddenly good people overnight, as Akuyili will want them to believe. I have traveled around the world; Nigerians are disliked because of the level of corruption in the country and mismanagement by our leaders.
Time will come that the president, ministers, senators, house members, ambassadors and high commissioners will be stoned with rotten eggs and tomatoes on the street of Europe and America for mismanaging our economy just like the former president suffered recently in London.
Akuyili and her consultants should watch CNN, BBC and other international channels to see how countries brand themselves with their unique tourism products.
It is a shame that a pharmacist like Akuyili is rebranding Nigeria, whereas, there are public relations gurus that can be information minister. I can excuse the journalists who are themselves comfortable with them being mere press boys.
As a public relations student, I distaste any body just being appointed as information and communication minister. The present minister is a green horn and most of her staff members lack the technical expertise required to succeed in the area of effective and efficient communication to both internal and external audiences. This is responsible for every Dick and Harry appointed minister to easily come up with a rebranding project.
The perception of every Nigerian being a potential criminal in a foreign land is as a result of abundant criminality entrenched in our management and leadership style.
Branding or rebranding involves telling the truth, because public relations is telling the truth about oneself.
Every country that branded has done so with their tourism potentials to attract tourists. For instance, India with its slogan “Incredible India,” South Africa, Malaysia, Angola, just to name a few.
I will not be surprised, if the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation and the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC] were not involved in the exercise.
What is Nigeria telling the world now?