It is no longer news that the European media does not portray African nations in the best way.
It is not that all is well about Nigeria and other African countries but you hardly hear good things about Nigeria in the foreign media. They won’t air news about our judiciary been above board. They won’t air the news about the Lagos BRT Project or the Operation keep Kwara Clean Project, the news they prefer to hear regularly is about MEND blowing up oil pipe lines, or the youths arresting oil company workers. Better still we need a medium to tell the world that Shell, an European company has refused to change the oil pipe line which they installed at Oloibiri in Rivers State. The pipeline was installed in 1959, since then it has not been changed, thereby causing oil leakages in the area. The people of Oloibiri can no longer fish on the river, no access to drinkable water all because of Shell. Unfortunately, nobody is saying anything about it. It is an hot news but the European media will never air that.
When I, however, make presentations about media and the wrong impression of the western world, I explain to people not to blame the European media in its entirety.
They are commercially oriented news agencies that give their viewers what they want to hear.
Why can’t African’s have a voice?
Why can’t Nigeria launch a national news carrier into the globe?
There are, however, other cheap ways of representing the image of Nigeria to the world which the government of Nigeria should take advantage of.
Sometime ago the immediate past administration in Nigeria closed down the Information Service Centers of all Nigerian embassies. The then External Affairs Minister claimed that it is one of the strategies of reducing the overhead cost of government institution in Nigeria.
The centers were closed down then but this is the time when they should be re-opened in all our foreign missions.
The Information Centers should be re-opened with P.R. men and Journalists with good information about the political and business environment of Nigeria heading the unit in each of our foreign mission. The earlier idea of appointing officers of the Ministry of External Affairs without P.R. knowledge should no longer be allowed.
The P.R professional/ Journalist should be given the responsibility of not only heading the units but also responding to every wrong opinion about Nigeria in any of the media organizations in the host countries.
The men should be people who can mix up with the media men of the host countries easily, inform them about the good things happening in Nigeria and they should have a direct communication link to each of the State Ministries of Information in Nigeria for easy access to qualitative and timely information.
They should be carrier men with a good grasp about Nigeria. Men with the national news agencies, officers of the Federal Ministry of Information or better still each states of the federation send representatives from their ministries of information to head our foreign Information Service Units.
The major task that must be given to them is to respond to all negative news in the media of all host countries. All wrong opinion must be re-phrased. Once they are there, they must re-present the facts to the people of the host country through the same media organization.
Nigerian’s in the diaspora need to know more about home. The Information Centers should be a home away from home for them. They should be able to know about the investments potential in all the states of the federation. The Chambers of Commerce/Ministry of Commerce of each of the 36 states of the federation should be allowed to make a direct presentation to the head of the information service centers regularly.
Image matters in everything, our appearance matters. Foreigners will make up their mind on Nigeria through those representing us outside our shore. We must make do with our first eleven.
While joining hands in building the great Nigeria of our dream, we must all put our minds together to assist our representatives with information as and when due.
Nigeria will be the world power very soon if you and I agree to make it so. We have the resources. We have all it takes; let’s join hands to build the greatest nation on earth. Whether at home or abroad, do things that will portray Nigeria in the right way and history will never forget you.
Remember that the name of the king that is installed and peace came to the land will never be forgotten likewise the name of the king that is installed when crisis erupted will never be forgotten. History could be positive or negative. Where will you stand?
GOD BLESS YOU!
GOD BLESS NIGERIA!