Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Re-branding Nigeria

I would have missed this new public relations campaign if not for the discussions on a couple blogs written by Nigerians.

Treating a country like a product is an interesting idea. The skeptical bloggers are asking whose relatives are being hired by the government to run the campaign. Others are asking how the Nigerian populace will respond in the face of poverty, hunger, and corruption.

It turns out that this is the second rebranding campaign. The previous administration had its own campaign which is now being replaced.

This is a version of exercising soft power. How does it compare to the soft power campaigns of the other countries your students are studying?

Yar’Adua unveils re-branding Nigeria logo, slogan tomorrow

"President Umaru Yar’Adua, will, [March 17] in Abuja, unveil the re-branding Nigeria logo and slogan, as his administration pushes to give the nation a more positive image.

"Former Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon would be chairman of the occasion which is expected to attract a cream of top government functionaries, business moguls, the diplomatic corps and media executives.

"According to the Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, the launch would be a major step towards changing the negative perception of Nigeria and her people both locally and internationally.

"The Minister said the campaign would also target 're-orienting Nigerians, changing the negative attitudes of Nigerians, making Nigerians to believe in themselves, inculcating optimal spirit of patriotism in Nigerians and at the same time, celebrating our very best before the international community'.

"The minister said the core of this campaign would be a return to the cultural values of Nigerians as a people, as well as, how Nigerians see the nation...

"She noted that the mass media had a key role to play by emphasising positive story about Nigeria and responsible report of what could be considered as the negative, for the campaign to succeed.."

Leave it to the foreign press to point out a negative amid the positive roll out of Nigerian's new image.

Theft mars Nigerian 're-branding'

"Thieves stole a mobile phone belonging to a member of a new team campaigning to improve Nigeria's image as a country riddled by crime and chaos.

"Isawa Elaigwu told the launch of the 'rebrand Nigeria' campaign he noticed the phone was gone minutes before he was due to address the event...

"'This is just the sort of thing we need to fight against'.

"Nigeria is often seen abroad as a violent and chaotic place, full of people who use e-mail scams to cheat money out of unwitting victims...

"On Tuesday the ministry unveiled a new slogan "Nigeria: Good people, great country", and a logo..."

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At 5:10 PM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

From Imnakoya writing at Grandiose Parlor

Nigeria re-branding task #1: Deal with Halliburton’s accomplices

"For Nigeria to seen as a serious-minded nation and committed to improving its image, there are some outstanding corruption matters needing urgent attention: Halliburton (USA), Siemens AG (Germany), and Wilbros (USA)...

"In February 2009, the attorney to Halliburton — and its former subsidiary KBR Inc, Andrew Farley, admitted to the US District Court in Houston that the company paid the bribes to high ranking Nigerian officials in the executive branch and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in a scheme to secure four lucrative Bonny LNG contracts worth about $6bn over a period between 1994 and 2004.

"Earlier this month, Reuters reported that “two British citizens face charges of bribing Nigerian officials as part of a joint venture that included KBR Inc (KBR.N) to build liquefied natural gas facilities”. One of the suspect is a British solicitor.

"By now, the relevant agencies in Nigeria ought to have started investigating the case, in collaboration with the US justice department. But this may not be the case.

"It appears government will be looking the other way, and filing laws suits against the bribe-giving foreign companies..."

At 8:29 AM, Blogger SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

I have been arguing for the proper repositioning of Nigeria for a long time. I, personally, believe that Nigeria can transform its image from within and outside by providing the necessities of its citizens and holding them up as the face of Nigeria.

Anyway, I and many others, continue to observe and analyze this new re=branding effort. We will see where the rabbit hole goes...



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