ROY MOORE LOSES ALABAMA SENATE SEAT

ICHEOKU says all the effort were not enough to see himthrough the finish line. The armada of forces amassed against him was almost humanly insurmountable. Election is one crazy thing and the lynch mob successfully took down a good man who would have been great for Alabamans. The take Roy Moore out conspiracy played their last joker by fielding in a Write In ex-marine ultra conservative candidate and he snatched over 20,000 votes conservative votes which would have been more than enough to win the election. But hey, the sun will still come up tomorrow morning, regardless. ICHEOKU says congratulations to Doug Jones onhis election victory, as Alabama now switches from red Republican to blue Democrat Senate seat. Salute

ALABAMANS SHOW ROY MOORE SOME LOVE: VOTE ROY MOORE

ALABAMANS SHOW ROY MOORE SOME LOVE: VOTE ROY MOORE
ICHEOKU says the long awaited Tuesday December 12th 2017 is finally here for the people of the Great State of Alabama to tell Washington DC to mind their gaddam business and stay the heck out of Alabama's internal affairs matter. VOTE ROY MOORE.

ROY MOORE IS THE ONE: VOTE ROY MOORE

ALABAMA VOTES ROY MOORE. ON TUESDAY DECEMBER 12TH, 2017 ALABAMANS WILL VOTE TO SEND A MAN WHO FEARS GOD TO Washington DC TO HELP PRESIDENT DONALD JOHN TRUMP CONTINUE TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN. VOTE ROY MOORE FOR SENATE !

JERUSALEM IS ISRAEL'S ETERNAL CAPITAL - PDJT

JERUSALEM IS ISRAEL'S ETERNAL CAPITAL - PDJT
ICHEOKU says a wisdom of Solomon come to judgment; it is about time the child is given to the rightful mother. Salute to the courage of President Donald John Trump.

ROY MOORE: THE PEOPLES CHOICE

ROY MOORE: THE PEOPLES CHOICE
ICHEOKU says VOTE ROY MOORE. VOTE ROY MOORE. VOTE ROY MOORE. VOTE ROY MOORE. VOTE ROY MOORE. VOTE ROY MOORE. VOTE ROY MOORE

PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE ARE ENGAGED: HURRAY!

ICHEOKU says they look nice together and hopefully the crazy media and their paparazzi hordes will let them be and not force them into a life of misery or accidentally run them off the cliff. Lady Di's tragic experience is still painfully fresh till this day and no one, not ICHEOKU, wants to relive or experience such awfulness again, NEVER again. May God protect and bless the duo as they take their baby steps into the journey of of so many unknown absurdities called marriage. All the best Harry and Meghan.


North Korea: A STATE SPONSOR OF TERRORISM.

ICHEOKU says it is official, the reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jung Un has succeeded in invoking the wrath of the United States of America and now his country been put back into the list of States which sponsors terrorism. So alongside Iran, Sudan and Syria, North Korea will now pay a hefty price economically and as rightly articulated, this latest designation will further squeeze the country and force it into a better behavior.


ALEX EKWUEME IS DEAD

ICHEOKU says former Nigerian Vice President during the second republic presidency of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Dr Alexander Ifenayichukwu Ekwueme, is dead. He died of natural causes in a London hospital. He was 85 years old. May his soul now rest. Adieu Alex.


TESLA TRUCK ARRIVES: HURRAY!

ICHEOKU says while you were distracted and not paying attention, the man who has revolutionalized driving with his zero emission and zero gasoline, 100% electric Tesla cars, has added yet another vehicle to the Tesla family stable. An all electric truck that can go up to 500 miles on a single charge. ICHEOKU says congratulations to Elan Musk and group.

ALABAMANS: DONT LET WASHINGTON DICTATE TO YOU, VOTE ROY MOORE FOR SENATE.

WHO IS AFRAID OF A SENATOR MOORE?

ICHEOKU says after nearly forty years in public office and about eight elections he participated in during so many decades, nothing was heard, not even a whiff. So for this allegation to come out now is nothing short of a hatchet job, orchestrated by the NEVER MOORE crowd and their Swamp establishment sponsors who do not want a straight shooting purist in the United States of American Senate. But drain the swamp is a task that must be done and Judge Roy Moore will help see the effort through. Vote Moore for the Senate. He will represent Alabama creditably well in the Washington DC. Show them pepper Judge and please DO NOT backdown or cave in to the latest attempt to blackmail you out of running. Trump did not backdown and so should you. Salute


AMERICA STRONG!

"Together with our allies, America's warriors are prepared to defend our nation using the full range of our unmatched capabilities. No one — no dictator, no regime and no nation — should underestimate, ever, American resolve."


HACKS BY DONNA BRAZILE: A BOOK OF WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

ICHEOKU says the long knives are coming out and only a person with an AK47 will have an edge in the current political saga convoluting the Democratic Party, since their loss of the last presidential election. Ordinarily, this book of Hacks would have been a good window into the occultism that has become the Democratic Party, but coming from a woman who herself is an insider HACK in chief and who stole debate questions from Fake News CNN and handed them over to Queen Crooked I Love Money Too Much Hillary Clinton, to enable her gain an undue advantage over the silver haired frail grandpa Bernie Sanders, makes it a highly lethargic, loathsome read. But hey, since it takes a dog to know one of its kind, Donna Brazile's latest book Hacks might be what Americans need to read in order to understand What really Happened; despite a book of similar title by the crooked woman, Queen Crooked Hilary Clinton, which rehashed her own peculiar facts, lies and fantasies. ICHEOKU will definitely read Hacks, but will not pay a dime for it; hope you too.

THE INGRAHAM ANGLE: ICHEOKU WATCHED AGAIN.

THE INGRAHAM ANGLE: ICHEOKU WATCHED AGAIN

ICHEOKU says as promised, gave Laura Ingraham another chance at watching her new show The Ingraham Angle. Yes, it is with delight that ICHEOKU reports that Day 2 was much better and saw a lot of improvement from its debut. She is lit and her presentation was much livelier and grasping than yesterday's. ICHEOKU will be watching and observing and hopes that it will make ICHEOKU a firm believer. Kudos to Laura.

RUSSIAN COLLUSION: EVIDENCE FOUND!

RUSSIAN COLLUSION: EVIDENCE EMERGES!

ICHEOKU says Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton was caught pants down colluding with the Russians and she has been trying so hard to pull the wool over the eyes of American people over whodunnit. What a lying, contriving, manipulative woman who lies so easily that you wonder whether truth actually exists in her lexicon. Pitiful.

RUSSIAN DOSSIER: PAID FOR BY HILLARY CLINTON

RUSSIAN DOSSIER: PAID FOR BY CLINTON

ICHEOKU says finally the circle is about being completed and American people and the world at large will come to know who in fact did the collusion. Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Congress paid Fusion GPS to produce the fake Russian dossier which former CIA chief James Clapper said was the basis for the Trump investigation. Yet, the investigation is still ongoing, despite the now established fact that the basis of it was a manufactured phony. But hey, we shall see.


ICHEOKU says still wondering WHAT HAPPENED and the reason 33,000 emails were deleted and bleach washed? Hopefully American people will soon confirm their suspicion that those shouting themselves hoax with Russian Collusion might indeed be the ones who actually colluded with the Russians. So much for the Russian Reset button. Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton, simply too crooked.


DAPHINE CARUANA GALIZIA MURDER: UNACCEPTABLE.

DAPHINE CARUANA GALIZIA MURDER: UNACCEPTABLE

ICHEOKU says the European Union must not allow this barbarism to go unsolved or unanswered. A journalist blogger blown up in a car bomb because of her writings and in an European Union member country is simply unacceptable. As a result the authorities in Brussels must demand a thorough investigation or better still lead the effort to unravel the monsters behind her assassination and bring justice to them. Daphine Caruana Galizia's murder must be solved and cannot be allowed to become another statistic of journalists killed to suppress freedom of speech. May her soul remain restless and haunt her killers until they are served justice. Adieu Daph.


GLAD TO BE CARRIED TO FULL TERM.

GRATEFUL TO BE CARRIED FULL TERM

ICHEOKU says another lucky one that survived the abortionist's pincers from the over 360,000 unlucky ones that get flushed out each year. May God help us all have a better resolution about unwanted pregnancies.


IPOB NNAMDI KANU: A BRITISH CITIZEN ABDUCTED BY THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT!

IPOB NNAMDI KANU: A BRITISH CITIZEN ABDUCTED BY THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT!
ICHEOKU says he is a British citizen leading the effort to free the people of Biafra from the clutches of the feudalistic Fulani controlled Northern Nigeria. Now, he is missing following the raid of his country home by the Fulani Army of Northern Nigeria. ICHEOKU says President Muhammadu Buhari led Nigerian government sponsored abductions and murders is on the increase and you wonder what it will take the international community to call him to order.

JUST SAY NO TO KNEELING: IT IS UN-AMERICAN.

JUST SAY NO TO KNEELING: IT IS UN-AMERICAN.
ICHEOKU says from being disrespectful to the flag to being unappreciative of the services of the military to overall being anti America; NFL players must learn to check their political activism outside the stadiums. They must not kneel on our dime. ICHEOKU supports the president 1000% on this and hereby calls on every player to respect the sensibilities of the many differently opined fans who paid to watch a game and not to be made mad by their personal political agenda.

IPOB: NOT A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION - USA


“The United States Government is strongly committed to Nigeria’s unity. Important political and economic issues affecting the Nigerian people, such as the allocation of resources, are worthwhile topics for respectful debate in a democracy. Within the context of unity, we encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances. The Indigenous People of Biafra is not a terrorist organization under US law.” - Russell Brooks, United States of America.

BIAFRA CANNOT BE WISHED AWAY BY THE FULANI/HAUSAS

09_19_Biafra_supporters


ROCKET MAN; ON A SUICIDE MISSION.



"The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about; that’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do." - PDJT


DONATE TODAY TO HELP REBUILD LIVES!

DONATE TODAY TO HELP REBUILD LIVES!

ICHEOKU says the Red Cross does one heck of a good job going to the assistance of the needy; so in these times of great need, occasioned by so many hurricanes, flooding and earthquake, show that you really care, donate to help the victims rebuild their wrecked lives. Remember that the Almighty rewards a cheerful giver.

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

HILLARY CLINTON LOST THE ELECTION - CHARLES SCHUMER

"When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that." - Senator Charles Schumer, Senior Senator from the State of New York and Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. ICHEOKU says the statement spoke volume and it spoke for itself. Finally it seems the Democrats have finally turned the corner and are now ready to face up to their abysmal performance in the last presidential election by acknowledging that the American people indeed choose Trump over their Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, they will also now rest their "Russians Did It" cockamamie and find a message they can present to the people and for the good of the country.. Time to move the process forward is now as American people did not buy into the crap of a Russian collusion which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to them.

North Korea PUT ON NOTICE

NORTH KOREA  PUT ON NOTICE: DON'T PUSH ME.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. As I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power." - President Donald John Trump. ICHEOKU says the Michelin Tire midget at Pyongyang is definitely courting trouble and messing with the wrong man. He probably thinks Barack Obama the redline president is still in office; but unbeknownst to him there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald John Trump and he does not mess around. Hopefully China can rein in the little man before he commits mass suicide with his North Korean people.

NORTH KOREA: TOTAL ANNIHILATION NOW ON THE TABLE.

NORTH KOREA: TOTAL ANNIHILATION NOW ON THE TABLE.

ICHEOKU says once again the diminutive midget of Pyongyang has been advised to heed the resolution of the United Nations firm stand against his continuing provocations; and that the total wiping out of his North Korea is now an option should he force the hands of the United States of American military. In a statement by the Defense Secretary Jim Maddog Mattis over its latest nuclear test, the secretary said “Our commitment among the allies are ironclad. Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so.” ICHEOKU says does not really know the joker that guy has, but whatever it is will likely very soon be forced out. The world including ICHEOKU is waiting and watching.

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY

BIAFRA EXIT FROM NIGERIA: A CALL TO DUTY
ICHEOKU says the time has come and the time is now for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to be allowed to choose their self governance and exit from Nigeria going forward.. A referendum on the future of Biafra is a legitimate demand of the people and it is their right to so do. The people of the Nation of Biafra want to go their own way because of the hostilities from other member nations of Nigeria. Let the United Nations order a referendum and let the people decide their own Biafraexit.

PDJT ISSUES A VERDICT ON ISLAMIST TERRORISTS


"There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death. If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God." - President Donald John Trump.


BBOB: BRING BACK OUR BIAFRA

ICHEOKU says it is worth fighting for, self determination and it is not a crime for a people to aspire for self governance. Indigenous Peoples of Biafra are marching forward and hopefully they will soon get to the promised land. Viva Biafra.
#BringBackOurBiafra.





"When two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts do blow out fire." - William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


WHAT REALLY MATTERS IN LIFE - STEVE JOBS

“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. Memories precipitated by love is the only true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. The most expensive bed in the world is the sick bed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” - SJ

EVIL CANNOT BE TRULY DESTROYED.

"The threat of evil is ever present. We can contain it as long as we stay vigilant, but it can never truly be destroyed. - Lorraine Warren (Annabelle, the movie)


ONLY THE POOR WISH THEY HAD STUFF?

“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

Monday, February 16, 2009

RE-BRANDING NIGERIA, A LIPSTICK ON A PIG?

The government in Nigeria recently embarked on a make-over, project "Re-brand Nigeria"! Icheoku asks, is this necessary since it is not the name of the product or its packaging that is the problem. No, the problem is the product itself, which is not good! Hence, no amount of make-over or dressing up, absent a total gutting of the entire system, will ever make it palatable!
Dora Akunyili can try all she may to re-paint a painted-sepulcher, but still within its bowls, lies very stinking morbidity. Icheoku has written severally on the "problem" with Nigeria and possible solutions thereto; but until there is some seriousness of purpose by the coordinators of the Nigeria-Project, to look inwards and see that the thing eating the kola-nut is inside of it, there can never be any meaningful resolution of the myriad of problems militating against Nigeria. Regrettably most of them, if not all, are self-inflicted by a rudderless leadership leading a highly aloof and desensitized populace.
Nigeria is like a dilapidated house being put up for sale by this new effort; but for there to be any serious buyer, it has to be put in a saleable condition. It has to be completely gutted-out and re-fixed, starting from the top down. Merely putting a coat of paint of "re-branding" on it, will not suffice to cleanse Nigeria and Nigerians. What image is still left of Nigeria/Nigerians when a South African common-criminal, shot and killed the reggae-artist Lucky Dube, and in a confessional statement, said he shot him "because I mistook him for a Nigerian"? Icheoku asks, have Nigerians descended to such rock-bottom that they are now used as practice-ducks for targeted shooting? Has it gone so bad that they are now fair-game to be simply wasted and even by a South African petty criminal? And Nigeria is still wasting money maintaining an embassy staff at Pretoria or Johannesburg? From the smallest country in the world to the biggest, Nigeria and Nigerians are treated with the same levity as a nation of crooks and a people with high penchant for crimes? Today it is either Singapore executing a Nigerian in a firing squad, then tomorrow it is Saudi Arabia's turn to cut off the head of another Nigeria; next day it is an African country killing and maiming Nigerians; and prisons and jails around the world have their fair share of Nigerian inmates. But what does one expect from a country whose president was imposed on the country, hence never prepared for the challenges of governance? Whose governors are bandits being arrested all over the world with millions of looted dollars belonging to her citizens? Whose former heads of states and presidents are billionaires without any meaningful source of their sudden wealth? Whose police Inspector Generals are criminal master-minds with some of them being paraded in hand-cuffs? Who in Nigeria, especially the leadership that is not a thief? Admitted some of them who have not had the opportunity yet, pretend otherwise to be a Mother Theresa? Nigeria is re-branding? What a breaking news indeed!
The ineptitude of various Nigerian administrations since independence has not helped manage the crisis of confidence facing Nigeria and Nigerians; instead they respectively exacerbates the condition. Leaderships stealing unabashedly from the public coffers that they have become the poster-boy of corruption world-wide, with many of them seen as quarries to be nabbed by many countries of the world criminal justice system. If it is not Atiku Abubarkar and William Jefferson in the United States, it is Olusegun Obasanjo and KBR or James Ibori and Scotland Yard and the list goes on. Nigeria is known as a nation whose leadership is made up of criminal and fraudulent people; and the current administration is not an exception. The headship of the senate, David Mark's brigandage at NITEL was so damning that were Nigeria a decent society, he would be in prison rather than leading the senate of the most populous black country in the world. And what will a re-branding do to correct this anomaly of a senate president who is a thief? A country being led by a bunch of thieves might as well be assumed to be populated by thieves? The most recent $579million dollars bribery-scandal involving three past heads of state/president of Nigeria with America's KBR is still smoking-hot, but the authorities in Nigeria, instead of prosecuting the implicated fellows, are trying to sweep it under the carpet, yet they want to re-brand Nigeria? Elections in Nigeria is a glorified selection where the nastiest and the most callous always have their way and an Umaru Yar'Adua who did not win an election was imposed on Nigeria as her president; yet Nigeria wants a re-branding? Virtually all past governors stole their states' money and the only meaningful attempt at holding them accountable was sabotaged with the removal of the nemesis of corruption, chief investigator Nuhu Ribadu; yet Nigeria wants a re-branding? A once siting attorney general and minister of justice of Nigeria Bola Ige was brutally murdered by the state and no serious investigation has been made to uncover and hold accountable the murderers; yet Nigeria is itching to re-brand? Icheoku asks, what type of re-branding is this, being sought by the authorities in Nigeria? The more you look, the less you see type of re-branding?
The task these apostles of "re-branding Nigeria" should rather occupy themselves with is to put their Nigerian-house in order. Prove yourself and people will love you; earn your respect and people will respect you. Icheoku says, no one ever respects a thief, especially when the thief is a thief of state who steal entrusted peoples' money. The first order of business should be to find out the root-cause of the Nigeria's skunky-image? Rephrasing, why does the mention of Nigeria draw such a flak or revulsion among the peoples of the world? How can a country be respected when her heads of government regularly fly into Switzerland in their private jets with loads of dollar-bills to deposit in some private coded safe-deposit boxes while her citizenry are dying of common malaria and starvation? It is this thievery of state resources by the state managers that has cost Nigeria the respect of the world! It is the endemic corruption which has metastasised through every fabric of the Nigeria society that is costing Nigeria her image? It is the lack of security in Nigeria that is tasking Nigeria's image; - as security votes meant for security personnel and weapons-procurements are hijacked by the leadership of the various security outfits without question. Icheoku recalls that a former Inspector General of Police Ehindero made away with over 23 million Naira meant for the police and the matter has since been swept under the carpet, Nigerian style; yet a re-branding is the song of the present? It is the over 61 percent jobless rate in Nigeria which has forced its so many of its population to all corners of the earth and doing whatever it takes just to survive that calls for re-branding? It is the incessant military interventions and banditry in Nigeria wherein the generals loot the treasury dry that calls for re-branding? Look at Babangida's Minna mansion? Look at Obasanjo's Hilltop mansion? Look at Abacha's loot? And Babangida also has a private jet? These abnormally is what calls for re-branding and not necessarily Nigeria.
It is looting-unlimited amongst the ruling class with every leader trying to out-loot its predecessor that calls for re-branding! It is the inability or lack of the will to provide power in Nigeria that calls for re-branding! It is the lack of motor-able roads that calls for re-branding! It is lack of medical care in Nigeria which makes her leadership to fly to other countries of the world in search of cure for simple headaches while the average Joe Nigerian dies of illness which an ordinary procedure would have cured; that needs a re-branding! A country with such a putrid resume does not need to burnish her image for the rest of the world as the drove of her citizens trying to escape such a hell-hole, will be her biggest nightmare. So those countries in the cross-hair of this re-branding effort will ask, if Nigeria is all that, why then are her citizens running away from it? Therefore, Dora Akunyili and co, your job should be addressing some of these enumerated internal problems instead of wasting resources trying to baptise Nigeria for the international community. As they say, charity begins at home, so instead of embarking on an un-win-able obtuse project, do some introspection and start today by meaningfully fighting corruption, the root-cause of everything that is wrong with Nigeria. Should you succeed with this, then the world will stop seeing Nigeria as the unsafest place on earth or the riskiest place to invest or do business or where the leadership demands and receives a $600 million dollars bribe before they can sign a $6billion dollars LNG contract?

To show the unseriousness of this effort, the thieving Senate President David Mark is proposing a re-launch of the national flag? Icheoku says, such a pedestrian suggestion shows how shallow this Oturkpo midget is. Is the Nigeria national flag the problem? What did the green white and green color do to tarnish the image of Nigeria? It is rather the David Marks of Nigeria who dragged the image of Nigeria to the gutters! It is David Mark who bought an 18-hole 33 million pounds sterling golf-course near Dublin Ireland, with money he stole from NITEL that is bleeding Nigeria's image? Who has not passed through an international airport immigration desk/counter and see the opprobrium the green passport attracts? Sometimes these people wonder the constitution of an average Nigerian who does not see evil in the likes of David Mark to not only elect him a senator but tolerate his senate presidency. Icheoku says to David Mark, there is nothing wrong with the flag as one can only be proud of a flag if what that flag represents is good and inviting! Icheoku says, may be Nigeria should start this "re-branding" effort by putting David Mark away in prison for looting NITEL dry and for all the coups he participated in. That way the international community will start to see Nigeria as no longer tolerant of a criminal senate president? What about that for a start?
Also, the name you call the effort whether "Heart of Africa Project" or "Re-Brand Nigeria Project" is irrelevant; only the real meaning you bring to it that counts. Whether it is "externally-driven" and "not people-oriented" or "home-grown" and "people-orientated" is not the core here; provided it is focused towards actualizing its objective. Until the real issues militating against Nigeria is properly addressed, it does not matter the nomenclature attached to such make-over effort; as the stigma shall remain, hanging around the neck of Nigeria like the sword of Damocles! What an albatross? According to David Mark, "No nation can make progress unless it can keep to time", to which Icheoku retorts that the better phraseology should be "No nation can make progress until it starts electing her leaders and such leaders who are not state-thieves, while also putting those looters of states parastatal like NITEL in prison"! What ground does David Mark have to be speaking about "re-branding Nigeria" when NITEL has never recovered from the comatose which David Mark's pillage forced it into? Nigeria is equally to regain consciousness from the repeated dislocations David Mark criminality of coup d`etat vandalism perpetrated on her? Simply put, David Mark is one of the reason why Nigeria has fallen off the wagon in the eyes of the world and should, if he cannot do right by leaving the scene, just hush!
The government in Nigeria must through its policies and actions make every Nigerian feel wanted and have a sense of belonging to the entity called Nigeria. A situation where some group of people are marginalized so wantonly that they begin to feel unwanted in Nigeria does not make Nigeria's emancipation any easier. What is needed is a reality check towards a meaningful integration of all the peoples of Nigeria into patriotic citizens with equal rights to any office in the land including choice and juicy government ministries and institutions. Icheoku says, other countries do not brand Nigeria negatively but are merely reacting and reporting on what they are witnessing in Nigeria, such as the $16 billion dollars spent to provide a non-available power? Where on earth, can it be told that a president spent a whopping sixteen billion dollars on a white-elephant project and it is ok with the society? The authorities in Nigeria usually forget that other countries of the world have ambassadors and attache-es` in Nigeria whose job is to monitor political and social developments in their host country and report accordingly to their home-countries. So how does a "re-branded" Nigeria fair in these circumstances of gross idiotic looting of state funds by state officials? Also the world is now a global village and with just the click of a mouse, a person in Greenland can monitor what is going on in Nigeria and/or how Olusegun Obasanjo stole his heart's delight from Nigeria's coffers, without suffering any consequence as a result.
Icheoku says, no one appreciates a thief and if Nigerians desperately want to be appreciated by the comity of nations, they should first wash themselves clean; starting first by electing their own leaders and not allow some cabals somewhere to impose a sick leader on them. Nigerians must take back their government and chase away the likes of the thieving David Mark out of government. Admitted that the leader of this effort, Dora Akunyili is a woman whose beauty, brain and industry is every-body's delight, but this task is one heck of an impossible one to take on and hope to accomplish. Our fear is that it will fail and become yet another still-born, the way of so many other purpose-driven meaningful endeavours in Nigeria, such as the Nuhu Rubadu's EFCC attempt at sanitizing the very corrupt Nigeria polity! Icheoku says, cosmetics alone will not cut it!

Icheoku says, until the fundamentals are changed, eliciting a complete exorcism of the internals of Nigeria and Nigerians in general, the current effort at re-branding Nigeria will be merely putting a lipstick on a pig! The trouble with Nigeria is that there is no continuity of policies or programmes by succeeding government no matter how lofty the idea. For instance, take a look at Jerry Gana's MAMSER and Idiagbon/Buhari's WAI, two very noble goal-directed programes that paid off while they lasted; that were they to have continnued till today, would have taken Nigeria to the promised land of a disciplined society. These programmes should be reinvigorated and reinvented immediately, if the effort at "re-branding Nigeria" is ever to remain focused; they went a long way in introducing discipline to Nigerians. They also proved that Nigerians are governable people awning for a directed leadership. Nigerians' biggest albatross is lack of discipline, which is the central hob upon which every other thing revolves. So let the re-branding start here, get discipline back to the Nigerian society!
Former vice president Atiku Abubarkar while lamenting the problems with Nigeria recently, urged Nigerians to live an upright life whenever they travel abroad as a way of building the image of the country. To which Icheoku adds, it must not only be when they are abroad that upright life is required of them, they should also do that while at home because charity begins at home. There must be a complete soul-searching among Nigerians in order for this re-branding effort to stand a chance. Nigerians must not wait until they travel overseas to be "good" citizens in their host countries, since the world is now a global village and people peek into other countries to see for themselves what is really going on there. Icheoku suggests, in addition to the preceeding, the renaming of Nigeria just like Gold Coast became Ghana, Ivory Coast became Cote-Voire; Dahomey became Benin Republic, Zaire became Congo etc. That way all the stigmas currently attached or associated to the name Nigeria will completely disappear with the defunct name. Also justice must be done and seen to be done to all Nigerians and this includes in several government policies such as the census. For instance, there is no way in hell Kano can be bigger or more populated than Lagos so this anomaly of a fuzzy-census must be corrected as part of the re-branding of Nigeria effort; from a country where figures are doctored by the government to where fairness reigns supreme. Once every Nigerian is made to feel Nigerian again, then the job is one third done as together what is left can easily be finished.
FYI:- However if there is something you will like to contribute to this dead on arrival effort, you may contact the protagonists via rebranding@nigeria.gov.ng

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Re-Branding Nigeria or Nigerian Leaders
Monday, 16 February 2009 16:52 By Jon Chikadibie Okafo.
Not long ago, the Federal Ministry of Information headed by Prof. Dora Akunyili rolled out what it called “Re-branding Nigeria”. This I understand is a programme designed to make Nigeria marketable, so to say; the argument being that we needed to project Nigeria in beautiful colours in order to make her the darling of other nations. Very noble idea I dare say. It is a thing of joy to see that Nigeria has never and will never run out of ideas of how to “move the nation forward”. [Has anyone else noticed that every Information Minister comes up with one pet project or the other just to look busy?].
While basking in the euphoria of Nigeria being full of “visionary” leaders, let us pause to look at the Nigerian state that needs “re-branding” and see if the medicine being prescribed for this apparently sick nation is the ideal one. Is Nigeria the country a bad one? Are the citizens of Nigeria a bad lot? Having argued that Nigeria the country has a problem, is that problem that of leadership? Let me try and tackle each on its own merit.


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Nigeria came into existence in 1861 owing to what some mischievous people have referred to as the result of spending too much time in ones bedroom instead of concentrating on doing the job-Lord Lugard’s mistress gave us the name Nigeria [this might be the origin of the First Lady malady in Nigeria politics]. The Northern and Southern protectorates were fused together simply for the purpose of ease of administration instead of being based on the peoples’ wish. Hence, the Nigerian state is an aberration, a country that is an artificial contraption of an alien that did not take the interests of we the people into consideration. Up till this moment, Nigerians still see themselves first as an ethnic being, i.e. first seeing themselves as being from a particular tribe rather than being “a Nigerian” in all cases. I recommend that Prof. Akunyili strive to “re-brand” this situation.


Nigerians are not bad people by any standard. Incidentally, there is every indication that we have a warped value system. Morality has been thrown to the dogs all in the bid to “make ends meet”. The development of this ugly trend could betraced to the era of military repression of Ibrahim Babangida, a period of economic irresponsibility by the government that encouraged all manners of ills in the society. Horrendously, there has been some kind of geometric progression of the erosion of our value system as a nation. Elders do not solicit questions any more-our people now engage in all manner of evil just to put food on the table. It is a pity that instead of having a responsive and responsible government, what we have had in Nigeria since 1984 is a collection of rogues who have stolen so much from our collective funds! Just like soldiers of fortune, our military men had always found one incoherent reason to come to power through the use of the fire power that we the people paid for! Talking of our value system, what qualified retired Generals Ibrahim Babangida, Abdusalam Abubakar etc as elder statesmen? I feel so much rage when I see these coup plotters being sent to represent Nigeria on any capacity, what nonsense! We should be talking of finding ways to make this men vomit their loots! These men have retired to a life of grand opulence and are walking the streets free-they are even being protected and treated as VIPs! How much did they earn as salaries as military officers? Prof. Dora Akunyili, your effort to re-brand Nigeria should concentrate on those that looted our coffers [and are still at it!]. Let people know that pilfering public funds is a criminal offence and those that venture into it would be made to face the law. Use your Ministry of Information to educate the populace; encourage our people to kick against the immoral display of ill-gotten wealth, especially by those that occupy elective posts. This I believe would be a good case of re-branding Nigeria. I am sure you can do this, or have you changed from the fearless lady of NAFDAC? Being a government spokesperson must be a tough job, especially if that government is of the PDP.


Quite recently, the immediate past Vice President of Nigeria, Mr. Atiku Abubakar was quoted as saying that the problem with Nigeria was that of inept leadership. Bingo! It is instructive to note that Atiku made this comment while in Bayelsa State for the burial of the late mother of DSP Alamesiagha, a former governor/leader of that state who was convicted for stealing government money. Professor Akunyili, you are really in the wrong job. I am not sure how you would be working for the PDP government if you really want to “re-brand” Nigeria. Nigeria is not a product that needs a new label in order to attract buyers, what we need is a good government made up of men and women that are not kleptomaniacs, leaders who are truly committed to uplifting Nigeria, leaders who genuinely care for we the people, leaders who do not lie to the people, leaders who work tirelessly to bring about regular power supply rather than those that ask us to pray to God for uninterrupted power supply, leaders who do not lock up journalists for airing opposing opinions, leaders with a true compassion for the way to give their people the best of everything. My sister Dora, this is what we need in Nigeria, not wasting our money on some lousy PR gimmick aimed at making an attempt to deceive people.

But I ask you, would your idea of re-branding Nigeria fix all the death-traps we call roads in Nigeria? Will your effort stop Mr. Maurice Iwu from supervising chaos instead of a credible election that is now taken for granted in Ghana? Will your work at re-packaging Nigeria stop the youths of the Niger Delta from kidnapping for ransom because they are outraged at the injustice of the Nigerian government? Will you also encourage those that stole our money and gave us more darkness instead of a regular power supply to return their loot? Will your pet project turn our National Assembly into a place where men with honour strive to promote the welfare of the people rather than a place where Ghana-Must-Go bags make curious movements? Mrs. Akunyili, what you are attempting to do is what others have tried in the past-they all failed woefully because of a gross insincerity of purpose. Those you are trying to sell Nigeria to only need to see certain things in order to be convinced that the Nigerian project is working; good roads, security of lives and property, regular power supply, a good health care system, clean water, sincere and truthful leadership that is averse to the lures of the overflowing treasury! On the part of the citizens, foreigners only need to see that Nigerians are no longer notorious for such degrading crimes as Internet fraud, drug peddling, armed robbery, etc.


The problem with Nigeria will not disappear no matter the amount of money spent on CNN for adverts. Our problem is man made. Until we develop the culture of holding past leaders responsible for their deeds while in office, until we start sending those that rig elections and those that supervise stupid elections to jail, until we remove the lust of lucre from political/elective posts, until we the people realize that we hold the real powers, until that day, Professor Dora Akunyili and co will only be deceiving themselves and wasting our money in silly spin.


Truly, Nigeria is a lovely country. Let us not leave the running of our country in the hands of certificate forgers, coup plotters, election riggers, fraudsters, thugs, kidnappers, treasury looters, occultists, kleptomaniacs, charlatans, megalomaniacs! This is our country and it belongs to all of us.

Jon Chikadibie Okafo writes from London, UK.[johnteddyus@yahoo.com]

Anonymous said...

Akunyili Laments Poor Image Perception Of Nigerians
By Innocent Oweh Correspondent, Abuja

Minister of Information and Communications, Dora Akunyili, has said the dwindling image perception of Nigerians abroad were as a result of poor value orientation and attitudinal perception Nigerians accord to themselves.

She lamented the gradual erosion of the nation's core values passed on by such leaders as the late Obafemi Awolowo, Nnandi Azikiwe and Tafawa Balewa, among others.

The minister noted that a country's greatest potential is measured not only in terms of its resources and economic advancement but also in terms of patriotic zeal its people place on their country.

Akunyili made the remarks while speaking at a function to launch a re-branding campaign for Nigeria in Abuja.

She said the recent case of the murder of Lucky Dube, a popular reggae musical icon in South-Africa by South Africans themselves, thinking he was a Nigerian citizen, goes a long way to underscore the negative image perception of Nigerians abroad.

According to Akunyili, the image of any country, at home and abroad, especially how it is perceived, is critical to its survival as a country.

She expressed sadness that "in the eyes of the world, every Nigerian is perceived as a potential fraudster, who are also regarded as unruly and most difficult people to lead or govern.

"Nigeria is also perceived as a country where nothing works and where chaos is a daily staple. But we all know this is a mis-representation and mis-characterisation of the average Nigerian.

"At the moment, these negative reports continue to dominate the media, and this sadly undermines the significant contributions of many ordinary Nigerians who represent the vast majority and conduct themselves in acceptable and decent ways, "she stated.

Anonymous said...

The re-branding Nigeria needs
By Sun News Publishing
Wednesday, February 18, 2009



Editorial Index

The Federal Government recently announced a plan to polish Nigeria’s lacklustre image with a new branding project named Re-branding Nigeria. The initiative, according to the Minister for Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, is to replace the moribund Heart of Africa project, which was launched with much fanfare and seed money of N600m during the tenure of Chukwuemeka Chikelu, as Information Minister.

Akunyili, at the launch of a logos and slogan competition for the new re-branding project in Abuja, said the Heart of Africa project was jettisoned because it was mainly overseas – oriented, not cost-effective and did not make considerable impact. She explained that the new branding project is necessary to correct the unfair, negative perception of Nigerians, both locally and internationally.

Local consultants are to be used for the new project, which has been scheduled for launch by President Umaru Yar’Adua, in March. It will be operated under a Public Private People Partnership model that will involve all categories of Nigerians.
We welcome the plan to project a new image of Nigeria.

The country’s legendarily poor image, undoubtedly, is in dire need of a thorough laundering to correct the unwholesome view of Nigeria and Nigerians, both locally and abroad. The effort to re-brand Nigeria, however, should not be a matter of public relations or image polishing alone. Nigerians at all levels need to do things right.

We need to polish our behaviour. We need to begin to subscribe to the basic tenets of decent human conduct, probity, accountability, good governance and patriotism. We need to start to behave in a manner that is consistent with our aspiration to build a great country. And, the example should come from the leadership.

However, we need to ask if the dumping of the Heart of Africa project, with the attendant financial implications of the decision, is the best way to project a new image of Nigeria. All serious nations make progress incrementally, building on the achievements of past governments. We tend to prefer to dismantle inherited structures, to build new ones with new names without any serious evaluation or demand for accountability on expenditure on past projects.


We emphasize ephemeral things like logos, symbols and slogans, when all the nation needs is just good governance and a positive change of attitude and conduct, in both our public and private lives.

We love to engage in bursts of activity, such as this project, that will entail awarding of new contracts for stationery, logos, symbols and the like, when we should be asking what happened to the Heart of Africa project funds and overhauling it for effective performance.

The plan to re-brand Nigeria is good. But the decision to trash the Heart of Africa project as a vehicle for achieving this re-branding can only further reinforce the perception of governance in the country as fickle – minded.

The way to go on the proposed new project is to let the nation know why the Heart of Africa project cannot be overhauled to make it effective. We need to have an objective assessment of that project to determine why it failed to make the projected impact. This is necessary to ensure that such failure is not allowed to recur in the new re-branding project. The nation should be told exactly how much the Heart of Africa gulped, and the money accounted for.

Above all, our leaders must address the serious issue of good governance, which is largely responsible for the poor conduct of Nigerians and the resultant negative perception of our citizens everywhere. Increasingly, this government is going to find out that it is very difficult to keep a desperate, frustrated, demoralized and disenfranchised people on the path of probity and good conduct. That is why any attempt to launder Nigeria’s image should begin with good governance and the creation of an environment that is conducive to responsible living for the citizens.

Corruption at all levels should be seriously punished to serve as a deterrent to criminality and to free much-needed funds for social services in order to provide a clement national environment. It is only then that efforts targeted at re-branding Nigeria can flourish. This is the true re-branding that the nation needs.

Anonymous said...

Re-Branding Nigeria and the Dora brand
With Wale Sokunbi
Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Photo: Sun News Publishing
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The former Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Professor Dora Akunyili, made a name for herself as Nigeria’s food and drug czar. Nigerians were so enamoured of her exemplary management of the fake drugs war that she earned numerous accolades and awards.

Today, she is trying to replicate the same feat in information management. As Nigeria’s Information and Communications Minister, Dora, last week, unveiled a plan to launder Nigeria’s image with a new branding campaign tagged “Rebranding Nigeria”

According to Dora, the campaign is to change the negative perception of the country. A competition to design a logo and develop a four-word slogan for the competition has been launched in Abuja. The campaign is expected to project a new face of Nigeria to the world.

Instead of Nigeria being seen as a nation of drug traffickers, a place where stable electricity remains a mirage, a nation where her leaders and the legislature have held the nation hostage, a country with nightmares for roads and where insecurity is rife, Dora wants the world to see a new image of Nigeria as a country that is working; a country of honest people, where there is security of lives and property, where electricity is in adequate supply, a safe and generally secure place that should inspire confidence in all.

Tall order. I don’t envy Dora on this high-fallutin assignment. Reason? It can never be easy to change the perception of a people or of a country unless the people or the country themselves change for the better.
We cannot begin to put forward a beautiful face, projecting good governance and a clement environment, if such do not exist. We cannot begin to tell ourselves, much less, outsiders that things are getting better when they are not.

We cannot tell anyone that the electricity situation in the country has improved and therefore adequate to support genuine economic activities when it is not. It will be sacrilegious and self-defeating if we do this because the very machines on which we will type and print these infernal untruths are powered by diesel generators. We cannot say our roads are good or safe when they are not. Or that we have seen anything of this government’s fabled 7-Point Agenda when we have not.

To worsen matters, the government is not going about this latest effort in the best way it could.
Why? It is beginning with the throwing overboard of an existing branding project- the Hearts of Africa Project, which was launched with much hoopla during the regime of Chukwuemeka Chikelu as Information Minister in 2004. N600 million was the amount earmarked as the take off fund for the project at that time. The plan to jettison the project is very much in the character of governance in Nigeria. And one of the “negative perceptions” we are trying to “change.”

Every regime, every minister must have a project initiated by him or her. That is why we have moved from Green Revolution to Operation Feed the Nation to 7-Point Agenda, without any visible impact on our agriculture.

It is why we have been bundling, unbundling and re-bundling institutions like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), without appreciable impact on electricity supply in the country.
To make matters worse, the campaign is beginning with a logos competition. By Nigerians’ reasoning logic – that is a contracts bazaar! Good news for producers of such logos and insignia, especially those who know or are closely related to the powers that be.

Good news for the media too. (At least, that is some consolation). We will be getting some pages of advertisement, so we shouldn’t complain. Times are tight and with the recent cautioning of banks against undue and reckless advertising, an avalanche of advertisement on Rebranding Nigeria will come in very useful.

On a more serious note, Nigeria’s image perception problem will need much more than the powdering over that a re-branding project can achieve. We need more than all the perfumes in France to de-odorize the stinking perception of our country, both at home and abroad. All the powder manufactured by Mac and Avon put together cannot paper over the cracks in the character of some our compatriots who continue to bring the name of our country and our nationals to ridicule.
What to do? Nigerians must begin to do things the right way. We need a genuine character renaissance. A moral re-orientation. A change of values.

Our leaders need to eschew the poor leadership style that is responsible for the unsalutary state of the nation. They must correct the legacy of poor leadership that has been widely acknowledged to be the bane of our development efforts and has contributed the poor perception of Nigerians. Our governments, at all levels, should commit themselves to the provision of basic needs, including roads, electricity, jobs, potable water, adequate food supply, education and transportation, to bring out the best in our people and reduce the tendency to bad behaviour.

To make our people behave in a decent and acceptable manner, the leaders need to treat them very well and ensure that they have basic needs that are necessary for responsible behaviour.
A university graduate will be less likely to become a yahoo yahoo guy, or a drug peddler if he has the opportunity of a good job at the end of his service year. A student will be less likely to cheat in an examination if he has everything that he needs for his studies – including properly qualified and hardworking teachers, a conducive school environment, good transportation to school, recommended textbooks, incorruptible examiners and he has been given good moral upbringing and good value orientation.

Beyond Dora’s Rebranding Nigeria campaign, therefore, is the need to change the way Nigerians at all levels do things. The decision to jettison the Heart of Africa campaign in itself is not a plus for Nigeria’s leadership image. But thank God, Dora has assured us that this is not a money making venture. Let us believe her. But she must watch out for the human hawks, who would want to have their share of the national cake via this branding project.

Above all, our leaders must set an example for the country in the way they run the government. They must eschew corruption and the contempt and lack of care for the people that is responsible for the manifestation of the culture of 419, corruption, forgery, armed robbery in some of our compatriots, that has dented and continues to dent the nation’s image.

In both our personal and business lives, and the way we govern the country, we must begin to project a new image. We can do this by enthroning a culture of respect for hard work, intellectualism and social responsibility. We should vote into political offices persons who demonstrate these virtues. Persons who can start the needed character-revolution from the top.

I wish Dora well in this Rebranding Nigeria Project gamble. But she must beware of the banana peels. She must not only be mindful of the Rebranding Nigeria project she has set for herself, she must mind the Dora brand, which has become known and respected for effectiveness and good performance. This is important if those who think her appointment to the helm of the Information Ministry is a misadventure are not to have the last laugh.

Anonymous said...

French Ambassador lauds Akunyili on re-branding Nigeria
By PHILIP NWOSU
Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Akunyili
Photo: Sun News Publishing

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The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jean-Michel Dumond has pledged his country’s support for the on-going campaign to re-brand the national image of Nigeria. Michel-Dumond was speaking during a courtesy call on the Minister of Information and Communications Professor Dora Akunyili on Monday in her office.

The Ambassador promised to organise periodic seminars and workshops geared at promoting Nigeria’s heritage. While praising the Minister for championing the re-branding project, Michel-Dumond said he is ready to suggest both logo and slogan for the re-branding of Nigeria if foreigners are permitted to participate in the re-branding competition.

A statement from the Media Assistant to the Minister, Francis Ottah Agbo quoted the French Ambassador as saying that the courtesy call on the Minister was an opportunity for him to express his country’s readiness to develop the existing bilateral relations existing between the two countries. He noted that Nigeria is a great country but regretted that there is a dis-connect between the negative image of Nigeria in the international community and the reality on ground in Nigeria.

He promised to help shore-up Nigeria’s national image by facilitating the exchange of ideas between both countries’ entrepreneurs. He said by such efforts, French businessmen will appreciate the positives of Nigerians and the business opportunities that abound in Nigeria.
In her response, Akunyili thanked the Ambassador for the visit and promised to deliver his message to President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Akunyili said there was no going back on the re-branding of the nation’s image, adding that both countries have benefited from the existing relations.
She called on France to extend the diplomatic relations to ICT sector which she said was critical to the realization of the 7 –Point Agenda of the President and the target of making Nigeria one of the strongest economies in the world. She also thanked the French Government for offering two weeks training to Nigerian journalists on a yearly basis and for offering technical assistance to Voice of Nigeria (VON).
Akunyili said Nigeria has over the years appreciated the robust relations between the two countries by making French a major course in the nation’s educational system. She called on France to extend the assistance to other agencies.

Anonymous said...

Rebranding Nigeria, visioning and stuff
Written by Is’haq Modibbo Kawu
Thursday, 19 February 2009
The Nigerian ruling class must be the world leader in the perfection of scam, fraud and gimmick. Some of these underhand acts of fraud have been necessary national diversions to make the people believe the ruling class genuinely cares for the common weal; yet others are a laughable train of amateurish scams, that no self-respecting local conman in a motor park will endeavour to pull through, because it will devalue the act of the conman! In an earlier incarnation, when money wasn’t the problem, but how to spend it, they promised us heaven on earth: ‘HOUSING FOR ALL BY THE YEAR 2000’; ‘EDUCATION FOR ALL’: ‘FOOD FOR ALL’; they built bridges where there was no river and stole the country blind! These promises were kept only in the breach.

Of course, the people’s plight worsened and despair set in; the people began to vote with their feet by abandoning the country. By the mid-1980s, the state began a systematic abandonment of welfare and social policies: we must commercialise and privatise everything, while building an uncaring society. Where the state vacated non state actors took over, leading to an increase in criminal activities; preying on state institutions; worldwide criminal ventures which tarnished the image of the country, all in the context of military dictatorship. Just to ensure that the gimmick of all motion and no movement was maintained, they came with vision 2010, which the disgraced despot, Olusegun Obasanjo promptly abandoned, just to get one on his nemesis, General Sani Abacha.

The eight years regime of Obasanjo was the most elaborate fraud in Nigeria’s history. Governance became an avenue of fraud, theft, a brazen privatization of national assets and the consolidation of a ruthlessly inhuman form of bandit capitalism. In order to profit from the all-pervasive scam, some operatives of the regime instituted what they called the HEART OF AFRICA project. One of the more comical asides, was a short documentary which had a most impersonable obasanjo croaking like a toad: “WELCOME TO NIGERIA”! of course, no serious person can be endeared to a nation such a man was advertising! But that was beside the point; the issue was that millions of naira was available to play around with!

A few days ago, the Yar’adua regime finally abandoned the ‘HEART OF AFRICA’ project; it had gulped so much money but left us in a heart of darkness. Dora Akunyili, the Minister of Information and Communications, who became the undertaker of the HEART OF AFRICA charade, announced frankly that “Heart of Africa could not fly for many reasons…. (It) was first launched overseas (didn’t Obasanjo’s charity use to begin abroad?) and that automatically disconnected the ordinary Nigerian from this project”. Well if that was a pithy critique of a wasteful project, the Yar’adua government is also embarking on its own “branding project that will be home grown”, according to Akunyili. She went further that “this re-branding is about our collective interest, our image as a country and as a people in the present and the future.”

Well, our dear Minister doesn’t have to waste her time, because the “re-branding” will end in the dust-in of history, just like its predecessor, Heart of Africa! Why? The problem is not in our stars, Dear Minister! Nigerians are no fools and will not be taken in by gimmick. They know when there is sincerity of purpose and always respond accordingly. Did we need a ‘re-branding’ campaign during the Murtala Muhammad period or under the Buhari/Idiagbon regime? If the ruling elite works for the Nigerian people and develops the nation’s productive forces in a patriotic endeavour to make the nation work for its people, then people will defend the values of the country; they will be the ambassadors of the country; will forsake a fraudulent reputation of 419 and sundry crimes and they will show love to the country. They will not need a “re-branding” initiative that is only tongue-in-check, and never meant to be taken seriously by those proclaiming it and certainly won’t fool the people!

Related to the “re-branding” initiative is a Vision 2020 delusion. This week, at the inauguration of a Business Support Group for Vision 2020, President yar’adua set a 300% growth rate target for Nigeria. How on earth does he think this can ever be achieved, when “more people experienced poverty in 2004 than 1996 because the total number of people in poverty increased from 67.7million in 1991 to 86.7million in 2004,” according to a lecture given at the Usman Dan Fodio University, by Alh. M. K. Ahmed, the DG of the National Pension Commission. He added further that “Nigerian epidemiological environment is dominated by the prevalence of malaria, which accounts for an average of 300, 000 deaths annually.” We can add to that depressing statistic, the chronic underfunding of public education; absence of research funding or near total lack of linkage between research and industry or a structured relationship between agriculture and industry; the de-industrialisation occasioned by neo-liberal capitalist policies and the massive corruption that has turned the Nigerian state into a shell! This is the blurred or impaired vision that informs the “visioning” procedure of a ruling elite that lurches from one crisis to the other. Ours is a lumpen ruling class that is paralysed in its lack of originality and is cut adrift, far away from the people, beholden to imperialism and therefore lacking in the patriotic vision to lead the change which Nigeria urgently desires! “Re-branding” will not wash off the spots from the leopard of Nigerian ruling class corruption and vision 2020 will not achieve any of the pious declarations made by the ruling elite; I am not pessimistic but the prevailing reality is tantamount to building road which leads nowhere!

Anonymous said...

www.icheoku.com rightly called it for what it is, " a lipstick on a pig", period! the present effort at re-branding is merely addressing the symptoms and not the disease that is ailing nigeria. but what do you expect in a nation where $16billion dollars was spent on an unavailable power? nigeria is infested from top to bottom and no amount of white-washing will mask the putrid smell of the decayed and marooned whale. from once the giant of africa to a country where her citizens send their kidangarteners to south africa for school? wh is not tired of the nigeria humpty-dumpty?

Anonymous said...

Rebranding Nigeria Once Again
Monday, 23 February 2009 21:16 Frank Onuoha Esq.
Dear Sir,

REBRANDING NIGERIA ONCE AGAIN

It was quite informative to read Mr. Agbo's response to the critics of the Rebranding Nigeria project recently launched by Prof. Dora Akunyili. According to Mr. Agbo, who is the Media Assistant to the Hon Minister of Information and Communications, the question keeps re-occurring on why his Minister is trying to rebrand a country with hydra headed socio-economic and political paralysis, with comatose economy, inaccessible road network, epileptic power supply, corruption, crime, poverty, structural unemployment, dearth of social amenities and electoral flaws, however Mr. Agbo feels that no country waits to surmount all its challenges before packaging itself.

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So let us leave that aside for the moment. How about the recent ban by Vietnam on Nigerians for the wave of anti-social and criminal activities reportedly being perpetrated by Nigerians? What about the kidnappings that have now spread even outside Nigeria to the Gambia, where an Australian man was recently taken hostage in Gambia by Nigerian internet scammers? What of the potentially dangerous toxic wastes from the United Kingdom which have been traced to Alaba International Market? The high number of Nigerians in UK prisons? The Child Witch scandal in Akwa Ibom State? The human trafficking, illegal immigration, Drug trafficking and Advance Fee fraud that has rocked Nigeria? What will be the Ministry's response to all these activities that are giving Nigerians a bad name? Will they resort to buying bullet proof cars to escape the high level of insecurity in Nigeria as has been revealed by The Texas Armoring Corporation, a leading worldwide supplier of armoured vehicles and bulletproof cars, that has announced a new product line of armoured vehicles called 'Nigeria Package'?

There is no doubt that rebranding Nigeria will have to start from working on the brand itself and that is not by crafting a new logo and tagline. No amount of rebranding can sell a bad product.

Yours Truly,

Frank Onuoha Esq.
414 Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent
Wuse ll - Abuja

Anonymous said...

Nigeria's Re-branding Project
It is quite amazing that the present administration would decide to package an image-burnishing project at this time despite the failure of a similar endeavour by its predecessor (the Olusegun Obasanjo regime) with its Heart of Africa Project, to significantly alter the unflattering image it had diligently earned for itself among Nigerians and foreigners.

The Minister of Information and Communications, Prof.Dora Akunyili, had exuded infectious optimism at the recent launch of the Re-branding Nigeria Campaign in Abuja, declaring that this particular image-laundering project would not fail, because, unlike the previous ones that had failed, care had been deployed this time to ensure that it would "be home-grown, and planned in such a way that Nigerians will have ownership of" it.But sadly, what will soon become clear, perhaps after millions of naira have been sunk into it, is that the whole thing is simply a wasteful exercise, and can only end like all the others before it.

And the reason is not far to seek.Credibility cannot be purchased, as this government is trying to do.It can only be earned.If there is a repelling smell in a room, the best way to remedy the situation is to look for the source of the odour and remove it.One can only compound the problem if one tries to merely deodorize it.At the impressive launch of the project in Abuja, Akunyili had harped on the need "to re-brand Nigeria, so that we as Nigerians will appreciate ourselves and our country, which will put us in a position to present ourselves positively to the outside world."

Earlier, during an interactive session with reporters in Lagos, the minister had equally underlined her determination to make the Re-branding Nigeria Campaign "to be centred on the people...so that we can operate on the same page with them at every stage of the process.We are currently working out details and will begin a process of interface with the Nigerian people to secure their buy-in."

Many people would certainly take issue with the minister's misplaced people-centred concepts, especially given her rather strange remark, as reported, that the country's image deserves higher priority than any physical infrastructure.Maybe that is why the government is yet to demonstrate its appreciation of the perennial submission that the provision of essential amenities is, perhaps, the most effective way of securing the people's support for the leadership - a very important component of any attempt at re-branding.

Government's preference for always seeking to discredit the people's bitter existential experiences with flowery propaganda has always been met with resounding failure.The present effort cannot be an exception.

How does the minister intend to successfully prosecute country re-branding with no solid achievements to advertise? Certainly, there must be, at least, one milestone on which such endeavours should be anchored for them to make any meaning to anyone.

Take the example of China, which had gone all out with the last Olympics it hosted to showcase itself to the world, to convince everyone that China was now refreshingly different from the China everyone had known.It had so much to showcase and overwhelm the world with.Now, what exactly is the minister and her team hoping to showcase today, beyond those exasperating commercials, whose only merit is their capacity to further alienate the citizenry with their mostly dubious contents? How can any nation that hopes to be taken seriously suddenly wake up and plunge itself into the task of self re-branding with hurriedly concocted slogans, without first putting its house in order? Nigeria, for instance, will be fifty in October next year.Why not take advantage of this very important occasion to carry out an effective re-branding? The enduring power problem, for example, has remained the worst PR disaster for any government in power.The present regime can start now to work towards translating the nation's 50th Independence Anniversary into a very potent re-branding tool by undertaking the task of putting in place stable power supply before October 2010, and celebrating it with fanfare when that time comes, thus diminishing its dependence on image-laundering? Success, no doubt, would always remain magnetic.

Again, a competition for the logo and slogan for the re-branding campaign has been launched.Allowing Nigerians to choose the logo and slogan, Akunyili insists, would make them buy into the project.It is really saddening that Nigerian leaders are still trapped in this kind of pedestrian reasoning. Where would the minister place the image laundering logo when it is eventually selected and launched by President Yar'Adua? On the countless generators whose noise pollution and lethal fumes traumatize Nigerians daily and enact serial tragedies across the country? Or the impassable roads and collapsed health and educational institutions which need to be rehabilitated to earn the people's support? How will most Nigerians even view the television commercials about this project in the absence of electricity? How does one market a country as unsafe as Nigeria?

We sincerely think that this is one needless and wasteful exercise Nigeria can ill afford now.Government should rather devote its energy, time and resources to fixing the country.Indeed, a functional country hardly requires strenuous marketing.It simply, automatically, re-brands itself.

Anonymous said...

Re-branding A Whited Sepulchre
By McNezer Fasehun, mcnezerf@yahoo.com.08037167464
The task of nation-building is never the exclusive preserve of the government.The governed are or should be involved as well.This writer is very conscious of this fact.Therefore, neither this piece not its headline is meant to denigrate our dear country, Nigeria, a nation blessed with rich human and natural resources.For one, I reasoned along the reaction of President Olusegun Obasanjo when in reacting to the pop artist who debased art with a wail of despondency that "Nigeria jaja-jaga, everything scatter-scatter..."; or the Yoruba artist who brought inartistic social criticism into his so-called work of art by narrating how he had earlier pleaded for Nigerians to give Baba a chance, and when Baba cannot deliver he should be booed out. This is not to say we cannot make valid criticism in art, but in African art, we rescue such from offending social norms by cushioning it with artistic ornaments.Else art will cease to be art.

Neither do we intend to play to the gallery of saying "Crucify him today; Hosanna, tomorrow" in the manner in which Nigerian journalists would do the utmost to be critical of government while in practice, only to turn round to play the devil's advocate upon the assumption of office as government's spokesperson.

All these, nevertheless, do not preclude us from examining ourselves, as the scripture would say, and as a philosopher would corroborate that a life that is unexamined is not worth living.

The idea of branding Nigeria in the last political dispensation through the Heart of Africa project was no less expedient given the battered image Nigeria had suffered, especially during military dictatorship.At the peak of the reign of those monstrous regimes, a Nigerian Foreign Affairs minister, while fielding questions from international media had been asked why a Nobel laureate of the status of Wole Soyinka had been chased out of the country and had answered, "What is so special about a Wole Soyinka? Is it because he had won the Nobel Prize? Anybody can win the Nobel Prize!" It was the nadir of unscrupulous global image.The international media had descended on the foreign minister in a manner seeing a character playing out a role in a classic comedy: Anybody can win the Nobel Prize! At the best they thought the actor was adlibbing.

And so the Heart of Africa project was like catching a fresh breath away from the polluted atmosphere that was pervading in the earlier dispensation.

Yet we must ask whether Nigeria has actually moved forward since the Heart of Africa branding project.What are the conditions of social infrastructure? Water.Roads.Power Supply.How has the Nigerian state fared in terms of human and social development in a manner that would showcase us to the world that we are advancing into civilization?

Of course when the average Nigerian goes out into the world, he competes favourably with the citizens of other countries in the world.Only recently we read about a Nigerian, Louis Nelson who discovered the Anti-diabetic Phaytopharmaceutical as the cure for diabetes.We also read about Sanya Ojikutu, erstwhile cartoonist with defunct soft-sell magazines like Prime People, Vintage People and FAME, who has just invented an electronic music hearing device.They are the sung heroes today because their discoveries and inventions have just been made public.Bedeviled with a collective amnesia, we may soon forget about them or at best consign their names and geniuses into the archives.

As at last week the Chief Medical Director of Irua Teaching Hospital in Edo State, Professor George Akpede, raised alarm over the disturbing increase in the spread of Lassa Fever in Nigeria.Yet the cause of Lassa Fever was s in the 80s discovered by a World Health Organization (WHO) scholar, renowned virologist and at the present Vice Chancellor of The Redeemer's University, Professor Oyewale Tomori.Instead of bemoaning the spread of the Lassa Fever in Nigeria, what the Government ought to have done in a clime where proper records are kept, is for the records of research earlier conducted to be dusted up and have the problems of Lassa Fever tackled once and for all.Not only that a mass production and exportation of medication addressing such health problem would have been the much needed way of addressing our national image across the globe.

We cannot but burrow a leaf from the early founders of the philosophy of Negritude and those would have to re-examine it in latter years as it relates to the need to demonstrate rather than propagate.While the Leopold Sedar Senghors, the Aime Cessaires, the Leon Damans and Rene Marans were romancing with the philosophy that would sell their African values to the world as far back as the 1930s, Wole Soyinka, who was born about the same time had had to challenge the propriety of singing a song without attempting to live out its meaning.

The idea of re-branding Nigeria in the wake of the 21st century, and that away from the by-gone years of military dictatorship, is and should be more than singing a swansong.

The transformation which the otherwise dingy areas of Lagos like Oshodi, Mushin, Iganmu are currently undergoing under the Babatunde Raji Fashola administration is a veritable testimonial that, with all hands on deck, we can make this nation work.And we do not have to be too mythical about it.Even in advertising, nothing can constitute the much talked about Unique Selling Point (USP) of a product than the quality of the product itself. We can only be deceiving ourselves by thinking that we can deceive others with cosmetic propaganda under the guise of re-branding our nation.The day a motorist can glide on smooth roads, the day Nigerians can fetch from fenced borne water, the day power can run uninterrupted, the day departing multinational companies can bring back their industrial machines...then the facts of development would speak for themselves.

As the Yoruba would say, the skin shows the nutrition; and that we cannot afford to treat common ring-worm where leprosy is the plague.What is our rank in the comity of nations per indices of socio-political development and industrial growth? Will the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Vision 20-2020 bring about the needed niche in technological advancement? Would our generation ever live to see a made-in-Nigeria automobile?

Until we have concrete answers to these questions, the Re-Branding Nigeria project can only be seen along the parallel of what the Bible describes as the whited sepulchre, clean on the outside but inside is full of dead men's bones!

Anonymous said...

Nigeria Has A Brand, A Corruption Brand (2)
By Francis Ottah Agbo
Continued from yesterday


South Africa is a haven for crime and criminality.Armed Robbers are reputed for trailing passengers from the Oliver Tambo Airport in Johannesburg to hotels and homes with ease.As we speak, the African National Congress (ANC) leader and the man who is likely to be the next president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma is standing trial for corruption.Yet its brand name is ''proudly South African.'' What the South African Government did was to use the global media to showcase the country's historical monuments, beautiful sights and tourist centres to the international community.Attractive centres abound in Nigeria.We have Ogbudu Cattle Ranch in Calabar, Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi, Zuma Rock in Abuja, Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Lagos Bar beach, River Benue and Niger and a host of others.According to Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, a career diplomat who was put in charge of South Africa, Brazil, said the Lagos beach compares with the much sort after beaches in Rio de Janeiro, San Paulo, Cape Town and Durban.What stops us from using the beaches to promote our positives and national heritage over our weaknesses the way super brand countries have done.

Similarly, the United States of America (USA) is one country with a high rate of heinous crime and juvenile delinquency.There are reports that teenagers stormed their schools, snuffed the life out of their colleagues and teachers in broad day light yet it is ''God's Own State.'' Nigerians have not degenerated to that level.It is also important to note that the number of police in New York alone is staggering.Yet the police are unable to stem the tide of crime in the US.But in the national interest of the US, CNN hardly reports this.Even if it does, the reportage is treated as feelers. There is street begging in London and Paris and homeless people on the streets but the global media downplays it.So why must Nigerians emphasise their vices over their virtues? This is simply the question that Akunyili seeks to address in the re-branding campaign.

As a matter of fact, I know that the promoters of ''Heart of Africa'' are worried that the Minister has jettisoned the brand name.No. The relevant aspects of all re-branding efforts in the past including Heart of Africa will be incorporated into the new initiative.Why? The Minister believes that effort has some unique selling proposition and she wants all Nigerians to join her in exploring them.And she has said this loud and clear in all the fora that re-branding was discussed.The truth of the matter is that there is an organic disconnect between the Nigerian people and Heart of Africa.Minister Akunyili can not face the people from whom she derives her credibility if she continues with ''Heart of Africa.'' Why? The brand name was imposed on the people.If sovereignty rests on the shoulders of the people then there was no reason why a democratic government would arrive at ''Heart of Africa'' with fiat.

Aside this, ''Heart of Africa'' was launched in London in 2004.If it is about our country then it should have been flagged-off here to secure the buy-in of the Nigerian people.Sadly too, four African countries already lay claim to being Heart of Africa.They include: Malawi, Libya, Kenya and Congo.Nigeria is too blessed a country with millions of creative minds to be a copy cat.I wonder why these countries have not sued Nigeria for violating International Copy Rights Laws.

The Minister has taken steps to address these setbacks suffered by ''Heart of Africa.'' She has given ownership of re-branding Nigeria to Nigerians by throwing the burden of selecting brand name and logo to Nigerians.The closing date for the submission of the entries is March 3, 2009.The best logo and slogan will be unveiled by President Umaru Yar'Adua in Abuja.This I know will give Nigerians at least some sense of ownership in the on-going campaign.

All Akunyili wants is the cooperation of all Nigerians.The lofty project of re-branding Nigeria can not work till all hands are on deck.We must believe in ourselves and rededicate ourselves to salvaging our fatherland and not to savage it! Both the leadership and the led must live above board.Government at all levels must deliver on its promises complemented by re-branding of the nation's image.It is by so doing that the ordinary man on the street can be proud of his country.This is the position of the Minister.She however disagrees with those who believe re-branding should only commence when the country have surmounted her challenges.If it is so, re-branding might never happen and our reputation will just go down hale. I believe the effort of the Minister will be better appreciated by her critics if the nation starts reaping from positive image.With a grime image, it will be difficult for Nigeria to realise its objective of being amongst the top 20 economies in the world by 2020.

The journey must start now, not tomorrow, not next week.


-Concluded


-Agbo is a Media Assistant to the Hon.Minister of Information and Communications.

Anonymous said...

The ‘rebrand Nigeria’ issue (2)
By Tunde Thompson [ozem1234@yahoo.co.uk]
Monday, February 23, 2009


Photo: Sun News Publishing
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Errata: For some avoidable production errors (not typographical, this time), what I sent was not what I (and your good self, obviously), read on Monday.
Most of the errors were in the third column of the space on page 17 of the February 16 Daily Sun edition. The word “the” was unduly repeated in the first line of that paragraph. Prof. Dora “Alunyile (still of NAFDAC jame)’ had nothing close to my manuscript and electronic mail. Alunyile and jame were obviously references to Prof Dora Akunyili that we all know or have heard of, while “jame” was fame, and supposed to be read as, of NAFDAC fame.

She offered quotable words on February 9 regarding the desired Rebranding of Nigeria, not just one word, as the quoted speech showed. Then, in the third line of the following paragraph, the right printed word should have been not, not what appeared in that fourth paragraph of the third column, while the second to last line in the same paragraph omitted an “a” and should have read “………. so that we can make Nigeria (a) good product that can sell……”
Finally, in the fifth paragraph of the fourth and last column in that contribution, the question was meant to be “….. would Chinua (not chinning, who’s so called?) Achebe have relocated to the USA if he had felt O.K. here...”

The errors were smuggled into the write-up and confirm that: (a) Any part-time writer and columnist may not be happy with what he reads as his output later, because he could not follow- through his manuscript to the final page-proof stage and (b) even if the errors were not imported, the duty of an appointed editorial page editor (like that of good sub-editors who are a rare breed in newspapers these days) should be to detect such errors and correct them, without being told to do so, and later convince the writer why that action was taken…

Now, to the second part of the subject. As indicated in the last paragraph of that first part of this current series on the Rebranding Nigeria issue, there are many issues raised in the recent call by the Minister of Information and Communication, Prof. Dora Akinyili, that we all need to “… make Nigeria a good product that can sell…”

Without going too far, I am of the view that all the shortcomings for which Nigeria is earning or has earned a bad reputation will cease to be features of our national existence and image once our people in high and low places alike resolve to get the country back to work, doing the right things at the right time.
As far back as 1975, a National Youth Service Corps Orientation symposium in Calabar on “Nigeria’s place in the black world”, agreed that whatever were the country’s assets in natural and human resources, nothing much could be achieved if the country lacked an ideological orientation or focus. That view- point was crystallized by the moderator at the symposium, Prof. Okon Uya, in his concluding remarks.

Whether we wish to concentrate on the problems of corruption; unemployment, poverty, crime in all its ramifications or on the lack of power for stimulating industrial productivity, the absence of ideological consciousness on the part of most of those who direct our public life, has something to do with the degrading position to which Nigeria has now sunk, even in the prestige ladder among African countries.
Come to think of it, where would the Republic of Benin be tomorrow, were Nigeria to punitively shut her side of the border again? Where would South Africa have been today if Nigeria had not for decades toiled at the UNO to champion the cause of terminating apartheid there? And if it had not, at great national risk, supported the emergence of majority rule in Angola; Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and in other places also? These countries would not have attained freedom when they did, but for Nigeria’s diplomatic weight and financial muscles.

As you may well recall, the brief presence of Gen.Ramat Murtala Muhammed as Head of State made it possible for Nigeria to use its diplomatic influence and resources, then, for the welfare of needy and deserving African states than it ever did since independence on October 1,1960.
All the achievements of that era might have encouraged the immediate past President, Gen.(rtd.)Olusegun Obasanjo, to decide that Nigeria needed the “Heart of Africa Project” The fact remains that by the time it was conceived and announced, that is in 2004,Nigeria already had a bleeding heart and had practically lost its soul, seriously speaking. And that was largely because the ideological void identified at the 1975 NYSC Symposium in Calabar had had additional problems of neo-fascist authoritarianism of the Abacha and Machiavellian brand added to it.

It is a matter of regret that some of the electoral tribunals set up after the 2007 polls debarred some petitioners from getting all the evidence at their disposal accepted for tender during the hearings, to enable them expose the perfidious acts of those who later got declared as governors.How can a country, which regarded itself as the heart of Africa, not be honest enough to allow those who truly won the elections occupy their positions after the do-or die elections? Sooner than later, the whole truth will be out on the psychology and economy of those elections. The ideological weaknesses in the land’s leadership echelons will help explain that disgraceful reality.

When Prof.Akunyili said that “….we need to work hard and collectively so that we can make Nigeria a good product that can sell…” , we should understand why she does not merit much of the ridicule that has attended her proposal.
Surely, if you think you are at the heart of a continent, what is the point in just projecting “citizens who had become renowned in several fields like literature, sports, politics and diplomacy”, when you had discouraged some positive actions in those areas already? Or did Ken Saro-Wiwa and Chief Bola Ige personally kill anybody before they were killed?

Instead of organizing to celebrate, would it not have been more nationally profitable to resolve to work harder and thus boost productivity in the real sector of the national economy, including agriculture?
I see the heart of Africa project as essentially a diversionary and self-praise exercise, which may make the celebrants forget the challenging priorities of overcoming under-development in record time. How can you be celebrating when you have not done enough to guarantee development in the land?
On the other hand, we should have new sets of images at heart when reflecting on the issue of Rebranding Nigeria. It is not fair or fruitful, eventually, to indulge in the shooting down of new ideas, whatever their sources or origins.

.No doubt, if a Nigerian and foreigner are objectively discussing Nigeria and Nigerians, questions that readily come to mind usually include the following: Are Nigerians pleasant or helpful? Are they well behaved or not? What do they usually or typically do that are wrong and in which ways must they change so as to become more globally respectable?
As for companies, so is it for countries in this whole issue of Rebranding Nigeria. Just as companies have to worry about whether or not they are getting their acts together, so also must and do the really serious and business-like nations,because,as some authors have stated, “personality influences how the brand and the company make the customer feel…”

Specifically, F.Joseph LePla and Lynn M.Parker, in their book “Integrated Branding”(Kogan Page Limited,UK and USA,1999,2002),say: “The personality aspect of the brand admits that there are a strong emotional component and a strong relationship element to every decision that we make. If you don’t think your brand is interesting enough to have personality, go ask your sales department about how they sell. Most will tell you that the selling process is all about creating a relationship with the customer….”(p.87).
Let us face it, the country’s Foreign Service and each of our citizens are stakeholders or real and passive participants in these sales processes. Some are employed to sell or promote or represent the country outside, and our citizens, wherever they are , are daily creating impressions about Nigeria, whether we recognize that fact or not.That is because the images of any nation are shaped by the interactions its people have had with other people at any level.

To me, the Rebranding Nigeria issue will better enable us answer some of the questions earlier raised: Has Nigeria got its act together, politically, economically and strategically? Have the governments sufficiently addressed the critical issues of development today? What products and services is Nigeria selling to the world, and with what levels of quality and integrity? The answers will provide some of the positive aspects of the Rebranding Nigeria idea. Next week

Anonymous said...

Re-branding: Akunyili Promises Transparency
02.24.2009

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Minister of Information and Communications, Profes-sor Dora Akunyili, has promised to be transparent and accountable in the management of funds for the re-branding project.
The minister made this disclosure yesterday in a chat with a select group of newsmen in her office in Abuja. Akunyili siad:‘‘Let me declare here once again that there will be very prudent use of funds for the re-branding project. In fact, I am committed to ensuring that details of the money spent at every stage will be recorded and published in the newspapers at least twice a year. On my watch, we will publish what we pay or spend under the re-branding project for all Nigerians to see.’’
The minister also assured that the on-going re-branding campaign will be cost –effective and urged Nigerians to buy into it. Akunyili stressed that there was no going back on re-branding Nigeria’s national image because according to her, the perception of what we have as a brand is a corruption brand, a near collapse state brand, a dysfunctional people brand and a brand that is hard to sell.
To effectively change the negative perception of Nigeria and Nigerians both locally and internationally, the minister called for attitudinal change among Nigerians, and probity and accountability in government at all levels.and the rededication of all Nigerians to salvaging the country.
Akunyili said only a positive national image can restore the dignity of Nigerians and attract foreign investments to the country.Akunyili also said contrary to the speculation in certain quarters that her ministry has enlisted the services of consultants to launder the national image of Nigeria, the former NAFDAC DG said so far, only Staff of the Federal Ministry of Information and Communications and her Special Assistants have been driving the campaign. She however said if the need to engage consultants arises, the ministry will engage credible Nigerian consultants.

Anonymous said...

Marwa backs FG’s re-branding Nigeria project
By Daniel Alabrah
Monday, March 2, 2009

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Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (retd) has thrown his weight behind the ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to spruce up the image of the country both locally and internationally.

Marwa who is the Nigerian Ambassador to South Africa spoke at the weekend in Abuja in a chat with newsmen.
His words: ‘‘I support in entirety the efforts at re-branding the national image of Nigeria. Nigeria has contributed to peace missions more than any country in Africa. Our country has some of the best professionals in South Africa and all over the world. We contribute significantly to the global economy. I also know we have a few bad eggs but our strengths far outweigh our shortcomings. If no country talks about our positives as a people, we must celebrate our very best and blow our trumpet in the international community.’’

Marwa however, noted that government’s drive to reposition the country will be a waste if it fails to complement ‘‘blowing of trumpet’’ with attitudinal re-orientation amongst Nigerians, purposeful leadership and massive infrastructural development. ‘‘Nigerians must begin to believe in their country. Both the led and the leaders must cultivate positive attitude in our national life or what I call moral rebirth. Government at all levels must deliver the deliverables. The President Umaru Yar’Adua government must realise the basic components of the Seven - Point Agenda so that when we blow our trumpet, it will not be seen as mere propaganda. The basic components are human capital development, power supply, poverty reduction, insecurity, infrastructural development and Niger Delta,’’ the diplomat stressed.

He called on the critics of the image re-branding to shift their position arguing that no country waits to overcome its socio-political challenges before giving itself positive image adding that a country is what is says it is! While regretting that there is a gulf between how Nigeria and its people are perceived abroad and the reality at home, the former Lagos State Military Administrator said the re-branding initiative will shore-up Nigeria’s reputation as a beautiful country and attract investors to it.

Contrary to the belief that Nigerians will be compensated over the 2008 xenophobic attack in South Africa, Marwa said since no Nigerian died in the attack, compensating Nigerians was never on the card.
He expressed optimism that such an attack will never repeat itself because according to him, confrontation and attack are not part of that country’s domestic and foreign policies. He also said his mission is engaging the South African Government in a diplomatic talk aimed at restoring the friendship that had existed between the two countries before the attacks. ‘‘Nigeria played a leading role to decolonise Africa and to end apartheid in South Africa at its detriment. As a country we have paid our dues in being our brothers’ keeper and the only way Nigeria can have eternal happiness is for all African countries to treat its citizens with dignity at all times. This is non-negotiable. To whom much is given, much is expected,’’ Marwa added.

Anonymous said...

Royal father floors Akunyili on rebranding Nigeria project
Written by Samuel Oyadongha
Monday, 02 March 2009












Yenagoa—A royal father and former economist/director with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), His Royal Highness Godwin Odumgba, has dismissed the Prof. Dora Akunyili-led Ministry of Information and Communication rebranding Nigeria project, describing it as another wasteful venture.
Describing the move as politically incorrect and a sort of propaganda stunt to deceive Nigerians, the United States of America trained economist said the project would not change the attitude and mindset of Nigerians as well as the perception of the international community about Nigeria.

Chief Odumgba in a statement entitled “Rebranding Nigeria, or Finding another way to waste Nigerian money?” issued in Yenagoa, said the country’s battered image can only be laundered when honest and transparent persons are in position of leadership.

His words, “if you call rose’ a different name it will still have the same smell. Rebranding will not change our attitude, our mind set and therefore will do nothing to change our image outside this country. We should be thinking of having honest people in government and being transparent in our dealings with people outside and inside the country. That will be one small way of laundering our bad image.”

According to him, “All the big countries in the world have their ambassadors and high commissioners in Nigeria and they know all the wheeling and dealings in Nigeria. These ambassadors know all the bogus INEC elections held in Nigeria, the power, water, road and other fake contracts awarded just to steal Nigerian money.”

Lamenting the high level of corruption in Nigeria where most public officers see their privileged positions as opportunity to enrich themselves, he recalled the China incident in which the owners of the company that manufactured the milk that killed some children and made others sick were either sentenced to death or life imprisonment.

He also cited the case of a governor in the United States of America who was disgraced out of office for trying to sell President Obama’s seat in the senate.

The royal father, a one time governorship candidate in Bayelsa State however noted with sadness that “in Nigeria government is still ambivalent about prosecuting the company that manufactured the drug My Pikin which killed many children.”

He wondered what type the project is out to achieve when the president, ministers and governors are all traveling to Europe, America and other countries for medical treatment all because the nation’s hospitals are lacking the needed facilities.

He also lamented that, “it is only in Nigeria that retired people from the military, civil service, public service among others wait sometimes up to three to four years before they are paid their retirement benefits while many die even before they are paid.”

Anonymous said...

Dora Akunyili and her new calling
Written by Emmanuel Yawe
Tuesday, 03 March 2009
In the eight giddy years of Obasanjo’s presidency, Prof Dora Akunyili was a shining star. With Nuhu Ribadu and Nasir el-Rufai, they formed the tripod on which Obasanjo’s credibility as President rested. Encouraged in their unorthodox ways by a president who never took etiquette as a serious subject while at his school of Public Administration, the trio simply went berserk.

El-Rufai, nicknamed the ‘Giant’ while at secondary school and ‘Demolition Minister’ by his cabinet contemporaries carried out his responsibilities with frightening gusto. He came to office with bulldozers – many, many of them. With the advertised mission of restoring Abuja’s master plan, he demolished both legal and illegal structures; confiscated plots of land both legally and fraudulently allocated, defied everybody and every institution with the only exception of the presidency and Obasanjo.

Many residents of Abuja irrespective of age and social circumstances were rendered homeless as a result of his demolishing campaigns. But as even the most vehement of el-Rufai’s critic – this writer inclusive – will confirm, the man left Abuja in 2007 a more beautiful, organized and civilized place than he found it in 2003.

Nuhu Ribadu, as chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), fought corruption with unusual creativity, zeal and energy. The mere mention of his name sent cold shivers down the spine of both the innocent and the guilty. From his utterances and actions, he considered every Nigerian (except Obasanjo) a corrupt person and the onus was on all of us to prove that we were innocent. He herded many people into detention camps and obtained evidence under suspicious circumstances to implicate and prosecute them. His meandering hands were visible in the removal of elected state governors through processes that were later declared “illegal” by the Supreme Court. By 2007, he succeeded in giving Nigeria (in the eyes of the international community) a cleaner bill of health on the corruption index than he found it in 2003.

As the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Dora Akunyili was a source of pride not only to the Obasanjo government but to every Nigerian, African, Blackman and humanity. She fought those involved in the unholy act of circulating fake drugs in a way that nobody had ever done or will ever do for a long time to come. All over the world, her efforts were recognized, appreciated and even rewarded. That she even almost fell to an assassin’s bullets is a testimony to her effectiveness in office. Backed by the parliamentary act that I believe gave her the powers, she also added her uncommon strategies in fighting fake drugs. The woman is not only a Prof but a woman with native intelligence.

One can see the desire to duplicate these huge achievements in her present disposition as Nigeria’s Information and Communications Minister. Watching her on television, one sees the same serious mien, the zeal, the energy and the physical courage with which the war against fake drugs was fought. This woman is full of vibes that were more correct in the Obasanjo presidency. In a cabinet conclave – presided over by a reclusive president - I doubt if Akunyili is considered a genuine brand.

The Minister of substance will do well to rebrand herself. Her present efforts to rebrand Nigeria will fail like the Tower of Babel. There is nothing new or novel in it. Since 1983, we have been in this business of rebranding. Shagari in his second term brought back the internationally acclaimed orator, Alhaji Maitama Sule from the United Nations as Nigeria’s Permanent Representative and created a Ministry of National Guidance for him to rebrand Nigeria.

The military strike of 1983 put an end to it. But even the military saw the need to rebrand Nigeria. Buhari had WAI; Babangida had MAMSER; Abacha had ‘Not In Our Character’; Obasanjo had Heart of Africa. All these led us to waterloo.

As a pharmacist, it was easy for Dora to clear the fake drugs kept on the shelves of all pharmaceutical kiosks and replace them with genuine ones. But rebranding Nigeria is something else. Nigerians have been beaten twice and are thrice shy. Look at Prof Jerry Gana trying to use MAMSER to make himself President of Nigeria. Look at el-Rufai who led a mob in the public lynching of Atiku on accounts of corruption taking land meant for Universal Basic Education, UBE, and giving it to Obasanjo, the “Saint”, in the words of Nuhu Ribadu. Look at Nuhu Ribadu running after corrupt governors everywhere, making some of the fugitive men run around the World disguised as pregnant women. He carefully ignored the fat perennial thieves at the federal level. We have been on this road before. Our feet are tired. Dora should just rebrand herself to fit into the new magic dance of her new boss. We already know what the old one, Baba, did to us.

If Dora insists on going ahead with this her rebranding Nigeria project, she should solemnly plead with Baba to return that land el-Rufai took before our korokoro eyes and gave it to him on 28th of May 2007. Dora was certainly not part of this deal. But as a close associate of Baba and the Giant, she will help her cause by coming clean. There are certain things you do in life that make all decent men and women run away from you. This korokoro land deal is one of such.

When Nigerian big men like el-Rufai and Obasanjo do all these shameful things and still go about grandstanding, they leave hapless Nigerians like us bemused and the rest of the world confused about the true meaning of Nigeria.

Yawe wrote in from Abuja.

Anonymous said...

Akunyili and the “re-branding” of Nigeria: The limits of propaganda
Written by Mohammad Haruna
Wednesday, 04 March 2009
The recent announcement by the Minister of Information and Communication, Professor Dora Akunyili, that she has initiated a campaign to “re-brand” Nigeria has, predictably, generated intense controversy. Press comments have generally been hostile even where they conceded that the professor of pharmacology seems to have proved her mettle as the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). A few pundits, however, have vigorously defended the campaign while some newspapers, including Thisday (February 17) and Vanguard (March 2) have offered qualified support.

Akunyili herself epitomizes how spectacular the achievements of propaganda can be – and that, not to put too fine a point to it, is what her re-branding campaign is all about. Before her appointment as NAFDAC’s boss eight years ago, there was little public awareness of the regime of food and drug administration in the country. By the time she left NAFDAC last year, the acronym had become a household word.

Nothing better illustrates this phenomenal achievement by Akunyili than a little encounter I had one fine morning with one smart looking child street hawker in Abuja a couple of years ago. I was in my car driving along Michael Okpara Way in Wuse, Abuja, and waiting for the traffic light to turn green close to the T-junction with Harbert Macaulay Way, when the hawker sidled to my window with a large bunch of bananas. I thought he should be in school not on the streets at that hour of the day and wound down the glass to tell him so even though I knew it was a futile thing to say.

The kid soon proved even smarter than he looked; before I could say a word, he raised the bunch to my face and, with a broad, if somewhat mischievous grin, announced that the bananas were “NAFDAC approved”. I didn’t know when I burst out laughing and, instead of chiding the kid over something that was obviously not his fault, I bought the bunch without even haggling over his price.

This encounter alone was to me evidence enough that Akunyili had done an excellent job in creating public awareness about the proper usage of foods and, of course, drugs in the country. However, with her announcement that she would soon embark on a campaign to re-brand Nigeria, I fear that she is about to become a victim of her propaganda success.

The problem with propaganda is that it almost always leads to self-deception. Akunyili may have succeeded possibly well beyond her wildest imagination in turning NAFDAC into a well-known brand, but the reality of food and drug administration in the country is that her success has been more of image than substance.

The fact is that contrary to the image that NAFDAC under Akunyili has virtually eliminated the phenomena of fake drugs and drug abuse both have hardly experienced any significant decline. In spite of all her efforts, the open and illegal drug markets in the country including the three most notorious ones at Onitsha, Kano and Aba, have never really gone out of business. So also have those who openly hawk prescription drugs on our streets.

In a widely published article late last year by one, Olamide Akintayo, a former Chairman of the Lagos State Branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), in which he reviewed Akunyili’s years as NAFDAC’s boss, he showed how some of her policies negated some of the very goals for which it was established.

For example, he showed how the Lagos State PSN in 2002 warned NAFDAC against introducing NAFDAC numbers on product packs because fake drug merchants could easily print such numbers and thus make their products look genuine. NAFDAC ignored the advice. The deaths last year of scores of children that were administered My Pikin teething medicine was a direct consequence of that decision. Yet Akunyili seems to have successfully deflected blame for those avoidable deaths.

When she was first nominated for a ministerial job last year following her departure from NAFDAC, there were widespread expectations that she would get the “lucrative” health portfolio as a natural progression from her apparent success at NAFDAC. Pretty soon, however, it became obvious that it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk for her; articles and even paid adverts started appearing in newspapers about which profession in the healthcare delivery system was best suited to head the ministry.

One advert in Thisday of November 21, 2008 credited to “Elders Forum of the Nigeria Medical Association, Lagos State” insinuated, without naming names, that Akunyili not being a medical doctor was not fit to head the health ministry. Predictably, a counter advert appeared two days later in the same newspaper credited to a “Coalition of Concerned Citizens for Better Health”. This one argued that in appointing his health minister President Umaru Yarádua should ignore those who said he should pick only a medical doctor.

As things turned out the president acted contrary to popular expectations. He sent Akunyili to a most unlikely ministry – that of information and communication – for someone regarded as the best thing to have happened to the country’s health care delivery in ages.

Akunyili’s posting, however, is a paradox. At the same time that posting a pharmacist with no experience in professional media management to oversee government’s information department seems a mismatch, her success in creating a positive image of herself contrary to the reality on the ground more than qualified her for her new job.

Herein, however, lies the danger that, like most creatures of media-spin, she may end up a victim of her propaganda success. Having succeeded in creating a very positive image of herself against the reality on the ground, she has obviously come to believe that, given the right price, image can always trump substance.

Otherwise, I cannot see why she would have contemplated re-branding Nigeria – never mind according it priority – at a time like this when the future has never looked so bleak for Nigerians and their country, what with the global economic recession, the widespread insecurity in the land and the almost total breakdown of the country’s infrastructure, not to talk of stories of mind-boggling corruption that Nigerians see and hear.

As if to underscore the danger of her belief in image over substance, Akunyili’s rebranding campaign seems to have taken off on a very false and shaky start. Late last month, she was at a book launch by UNICEF on the state of the world’s children as minister of information and communication. As is usual on such occasions, UNICEF officials reeled out figures of infant and maternal mortality rates of its member-countries. Nigeria, with official maternal mortality rate of 800 per 100,000 births was, not surprisingly, at the bottom rungs.

Akunyili promptly got up to reject those figures. They did not, she said, reflect the reality on the ground. Yet those figures were produced by the National Demographic Health Survey and certified as accurate by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Chances are, far from those figures being an exaggeration of the reality, as Akunyili insisted, they were a gross understatement about how terrible the situation is; hospital based surveys by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Nigeria (SOGON) show that in states like Lagos and Kano where maternity visits to hospitals are high, the mortality rates are in the region of 3,500 per 100,000.

If Akunyili would reject government’s own figures simply because someone else used them in a way she believed portrayed the country in poor light, it should be obvious that her re-branding campaign would end as an exercise in futility because it would certainly lack credibility.

Like human beings no country in the world is all virtue and no vice or vice-versa. Again like human beings, every country owes itself to emphasize its virtues over its vices. But in a country like ours where the reward and punishment system clearly discourages even basic honesty and hard work, it is the height of self-deception to think our mere say-so, no matter how sweet we make it sound, would convince anyone that Nigeria has become a favourite destination for visit or business.

Akunyili – and her principals – would do better than use our meagre resources in these terribly hard times in pursuit of empty, if not fraudulent, sloganeering.

Anonymous said...

Akunyili, listen to yourself
Written by Garba Deen Muhammad
Sunday, 22 February 2009
Over the last one week, three events happened that were obviously intended to inject a dose of adrenaline into the limp nerves of President Yar’adua’s new cabinet. First the new Minister of Information and Communication, Professor Dora Akunyili, launched what she called ‘Rebranding Nigeria’. This was followed by the gig of Mrs Farida Waziri, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), who launched what she called Anti-Corruption Revolution (AN-COR). At about the same time Aso Rock inaugurated the Vision 20-2020 Business Support Group (V20-2020 BSG).

Predictably, all the three events succeeded in attracting the attention of the media, and the curiosity of Nigerians. By Friday last week, however, both the media and Nigerians are asking one angry question: “Where the hell is this government heading to?”

Start with the Business Support Group. It was put together by the Federal government as a supporting instrument for the actualization of Vision 20-2020, which is expected to put Nigeria among first 20 economies in the world. For students of Development Economics and all those interested in the precise and intellectual dissection of the history, present and future of the V20-2020 vis-à-vis the Business Support Group, I strongly recommend an article written by Sanusi Abubakar, a Daily Trust columnist which was published in the same newspaper of Friday, 20/02/09; page12. Abubakar is an economist; and he was himself a draftee (his word) of the group. He gave four very convincing reasons why he feels concerned about the efficacy of V20-2020 as presently conceptualized and understood by the government. These reasons include the origin of the Vision (which he said came from Goldman Sachs, a USA-based investment and securities company); the objectives of the Vision, which seem to have been dreamed up somewhere in Paris; the wretchedness of the institutions that are supposed to implement the Vision(e.g.: a ruling elite that is addicted to corruption, not to mention the near total absence of infrastructure); lastly the inherent policy confusion of a nation “that got itself converted to the Neo-Conservative religion of ‘No National Planning’” but is now inexplicably offering a National Vision Plan.

If all this sound a bit too complicated, how about the blunt observation by a layman? Asked by a television reporter at the venue of the inauguration of the BSG what his view was, the ordinary-looking man who did not give his name said simply “it is not going to work because the group is too big”. For those with a fair idea of the size of that group, big is definitely an understatement.

Connect the dots carefully until you anchor this Vision to Farida Waziri’s own vision for the EFCC. The V20-2020 BSG was launched on Monday; on Tuesday Mrs. Waziri went to Lagos and unveiled a brand new initiative tagged Anti-Corruption Revolution (AN-COR). Gosh! Some jokes are too serious for laughter; so Madam, what have we been having all this while since you have been running the commission about a year ago? No mischief intended; but the signal you are sending is that you are admitting that all along it’d been business as usual and now, hopefully, we are to expect business unusual?

But as with all revolutions, Waziri’s was not without its drama; or its moment of truth. For this we have no less a person to thank than the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Emeka Anyaoku. His opening remarks met in very exact terms the interesting requirements of a lady’s mini-skirt: short enough to be interesting; long enough to cover the subject matter. Chief Anyaoku, a former secretary-general of the Common Wealth and one of Africa’s most respected personalities told Waziri that in spite of its limitations and short comings, the anti-corruption war fought by former EFCC Chairman Nuhu Ribadu was closer to the aspirations of Nigerians (than anything else that came after it). Therefore he advised Mrs. Waziri to improvise and build on the successes already achieved. The AIT cameraman on duty at the occasion did his job and zoomed in on Waziri while Anyaoku was making these ‘unfair and insensitive comparisons’. I thought I saw her blinked, again and again. And that was the long and short of Waziri’s revolution within a revolution that never really was.

But by far the most curious event of the week was Akunyili’s Rebranding Nigeria Project. This is nothing short of a policy fraud! How could Akunyili, who had spent the last eight years fighting against rebranding fake drugs as genuine products, now begin to contemplate the same thing on such a grand scale? Could the people, including some of her professional colleagues who had consistently accused Akunyili of manipulating the media to orchestrate her success as the boss of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) be right after all? I don’t want to believe so.

So many commentators, among them erstwhile admirers of Akunyili have correctly categorized the Rebranding of Nigeria misadventure as the reincarnation of previously tried and failed such ventures such as The Heart of Africa project of former president Obasanjo. If Akunyili will not listen to her critics, then she should, for God’s sake, listen to herself. She is sounding very much like somebody who is chocked by his own saliva. Is there any way that a fake drug can be rebranded so that it is works as the genuine stuff?

This is unbelievable. When some journalists pointed out the obvious incongruities of her project by asking her what she could do to “rebrand” the fact that Nigeria is a crime-ridden rich country of very poor people, her response was pathetic, to say the list. Listen to her, and let’s hope she’s listening too: “There is no country without rich or poor people; no country without criminals”; blah blah.

Of course we all know that; in fact students of criminology would even tell you, dear Dora, that inequality and a certain amount of crime are actually functional requirements for the sustenance of balance in any society; but when such inequality is achieved not through industry but through blatant looting of public resources; when such looters are rewarded with chieftaincy titles and national honours; when criminals brazenly try to take over the running of the country; when armed robbers block roads and terrorize neighbourhoods and operate freely for several hours; when banks close their doors for days for fear of armed robbers ,then you know that the kind of defense that Akunyili is offering is absolute balderdash; an insult even, to the sensibilities of her listeners at home and abroad. What Nigeria needs is not rebranding, but a cultural reorientation so that Nigerians can begin to enjoy those ordinary things, such as driving a car without being

brutally insulted, that the rest of the world takes for granted. Let us have a redefinition of government and governance so that nobody needs to go and say thank you to a government for building a borehole in their village. If we get some of those basic priorities right, no rebranding would be needed. The world would rebrand us.

Anonymous said...

Akunyili inaugurates 22-man rebranding Nigeria committee
Written by .
Sunday, 08 March 2009
The Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, on Friday in Abuja inaugurated a 22-man committee for the Rebranding Nigeria Image National Project.

Speaking at the event, Akunyili tasked the committee to redeem the negative perception of Nigerians.

She said the committee should proffer solutions to “why the name Nigeria has become a liability and how to internally address the problems.”

The Minister said that Nigerians had lost faith in the country, because of the “energy crisis, unemployment level, inadequate insecurity, endemic corruption and failure of leadership.”

Akunyili, however, argued that the government was working hard to address these issues through the present administration’s seven point agenda.

“Ministers have been mandated to perform and make meaningful contributions to the lives of the people.

“My ministry on its part will soon host the monthly ministerial press briefings through which ministers can give information about what they are doing in terms of projects that will directly impact these problem areas positively,” she said.

The Minister reiterated her confidence in the members of the committee, describing them as an assemblage of old and young brilliant Nigerians.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the initial 20-member Committee which was constituted by the Federal government on Feb. 24 was later enlarged to 22 members.

Members of the committee who were present at the inauguration are Mr Lolu Akinwumi, Dr Ahmed Gumi, Mr Lulia Oku-Jacks, Chief Peter Edochie and Mr Henry Angulu.

Others include a Representative of NLC, Mr Gbenga Adefaye of Nigeria Guild of Editors, Alhaji Bashir Borodo and Mr Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani), Dr Tonnie Iredia, Prof. Isawa Elaigwu and Hilda Dokubo.

The rest include Mr Michael Abe, Dr Sam Amadi, Prof Ike Nwosu, President, Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Mr Garba Kankarofi, Registrar of APCON.

Anonymous said...

Dons Fault Akunyili On Nigeria's Re-branding Project
By Terna Doki Correspondent, Makurdi
Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM) branch, J.D.Amine, and his Benue State University (BSU) counterpart, Ralph Amokaha, have faulted Nigeria's image re-branding project of the Federal Government.

They believed that the project, spearheaded by Information and Communications Minister, Dora Akunyili, was all about "packaging the same old and bad contents for sale".

The academics argued that what the country needed was reformation of content, as against "re-painting of its battered image".

They both spoke at a news conference in Makurdi.

"Re-branding does not change the content, it only changes the label. It's is like in pharmaceuticals when you are re-branding, you simply change the label, but you can't change the product because any change in the content is to introduce another product'', they emphasised.

The dons believed that Akunyili was only poised to package a country of the "same old corrupt politicians, fraudsters and election riggers, inherent with all manner of ills in the name of re-branding Nigeria".

Re-branding a product does not change the contents, they argued, except the external aesthetic looks, adding that re-branding the country does not change the image but only gives the existing image another name, which still retains the same old and bad contents.

"The information minister would have done something like reformation of Nigeria with a focus on giving re-orientation to Nigerians, especially those in public offices which include her. Something like War Against Indiscipline was even better".