Image of a nation might as well be the destiny
of a nation.
disfigured image in the global village has become an insignia of dishonesty,
dishonor and disrespect; this is outright humiliation of a nation of almost 150
million people. Majority of Nigerians are industrious, God-fearing and law abiding
people. But a tiny minority is destroying the image of the country and the
governance ineptitude is adding salt to the
is in self-doubt, bedeviled with nihilism, lethargy and encompassing
corruption. Now comes the climax, a Nigerian was associated with terrorism and
finally the image of the country is demolished. What
re-branding and re-alignment that is not cosmetics but rooted in truth,
pragmatism and an affirmative change.
“There’s no arguing that the image we have of another country says a
lot about how we view it as a tourist destination, a place to invest or a
source of consumer goods.” And the rest of world’s perception about
affect her pocket and economy because less people will be incline to invest and
travel to the country. A nation re-branding is not peculiar to
were re-branded at the end of Second War World: Now Germany and
as liberal democracies with peaceful and progressive policies.
was re-branded with an image of gentle and cheerful multicultural country at
the end of Apartheid.
The litany of Nigerian sins and misbehaviors are no longer a news to the entire
world, as the world have come to see the intractable problems of Nigeria as
threat to global financial and economic stability.
manipulation of established standard operations and now for terrorism.
The peril of this dented image is taking its toil on the average citizen of
cannot freely travel nor conduct international business.
all the wealth she generated from oil and local revenues cannot provide the
basic necessities of life to her populace.
Many Nigerians are quick to point accusing fingers to the country’s leadership
but fail to see themselves as part and parcel of the unworkable
means, nobody is excluding the elite and ruling class from the generated mess
but the masses cannot fold their hands and anticipate a change to initiate
itself. The average Nigerians must also shoulder some responsibilities by
shunning corruption including coming to work on time and rejecting short
/dubious path to wealth accumulation.
There are enduring and lingering ramifications that are associated with poor
and disastrous image of a nation. The financial and economic impact is
overwhelming especially on the wealth of nation, wealth creation and GDP. The
wealth of nation and its creation must involve the attraction of foreign
capitals and manpower. No serious capitalist desire to invest his wealth in a
nation of untrustworthy people. Subsequently, economic downturn does give rise
to mammoth unemployment; that can trigger instability and inability for government
to protect lives and properties.
In 21st century of inter connecting world, an image can help to lift up a
nation and this is exactly why many nations are very protective of their
images. Once an image of a nation is tarnished it becomes an arduous if not an
impossible task to reverse the trend. The only hope for
an image of a nation is neither indelible nor etched in stone. For
never too late to commence to make the affirmative moves in the comprehensive
transformation of the country’s image.
The total transformation of
coherent and self-evident. This is not going to be superficial, a tinkering at
the peripheral with piecemeal characteristics similar to toddler step taken by
respectful Dora Akunyili, Nigerian Minister of Information, as she tries to
re-brand her country. With all due respect, her tactics of blaming game is
self-defeating, incoherent and contradicts her objective. Re-branding and image
making of a nation is not a singular act but a collective effort of patriots
including men and women of goodwill.
In paper presentation on Vision 2020 Nigerian project, I reiterated the
Image Management: “Nigerian policy and decision makers have not certainly explored
the power of image making. The image of a nation both abstract and aesthetic
speaks a volume of the nation.
must be able to tell the world that she is ripe for investment and tourism
without obstruction. No foreign institutions or countries can tell the world
more than Nigerians could do.
cannot afford to be NAIVE and NONCHALANT.”
must undergo fundamental paradigm change and must be focused on a path of
transformation and progress. It is not going to be a picnic nor an ego trip but
a deliberate act with superior intellectual power to give birth to a new
is not about hiring international image consultants that will cost millions of
It is about
and Nigerians undergoing a candid self examination and making decision to do
the right thing for the interest of her citizens, our children and posterity.
When the fundamental changes are made, then
may hire media specialist and spokesperson to tell the story of the new
world. Many well known people of Nigerian heritage including musical superstars
Sade, Seal, Slash; media star Adaora Udoji and sport stars Christian Okoye,
Nnamdi Asomugha, and many others can be employed to be the spokespersons for
at this point in time is left with one alternative which is to rebuild her
image if she desires to be relevant in geo-political and economic affairs of
our shrinking global village. If
fails to travel the pathway of revival, reawakening and rebirth she will end up
becoming a sinking ship and diminishing giant of
to be respectful and relevant in 21st century she must rise to the challenge of
self transformation and revitalization.