Peter Ogudoro is a Development Practitioner and PR Consultant based in the UK. In this interview with Saturday VanguardÂ Â heÂ Â spoke to SIMEON NDAJI on the need to re-brand Nigeria.
What is Re-branding NigeriaÂ all about ?
I understand that the authorities behind this project are tryingÂ a new andÂ positive image for Nigeria.This must have been informed by the obvious fact that our image has been battered by our chequered history and poor leadership which has poverty, instability and hopelessness, traits of our country. It is not a bad ideaÂ to embark on a project like this. But it is unfortunate that the procedure being followed is faulty and certainly will not deliver what they are looking for.
Why canâ€™t we get what we are looking for ?
From what we have seen so far, the managers of this project do not know what a brand is and areÂ unfamiliar with the steps that should be taken to re-brandÂ Â the country or any product for that matter.
Re-branding is not about saying good things about your country when you canâ€™t provideÂ Â the evidence to support your claims. Re-branding should be more perspira-tion than propaganda.Â In the absence of evidence people seldom trust a communicator and hardly can accept what the person is saying. Saying that Nigeria is a great country doesnâ€™t make an average German believe that the country is great.
This is because many NigeriansÂ Â live in Germany as refugees and tellÂ Germans that they are reluctantÂ Â to return to Nigeria. Saying that we are good people does not makeÂ a Spanish believe we are good because they see fraudulent people from this country and prostitutes who were smuggled into their country for indulgence in illegalities.
Do you think that re-branding Nigeria can solve her problem holistically?
Re-branding Nigeria can make a world of difference if properly handled. Handling it properly
means working hard to in place the evidence that can support our claims to the effect that we are great and good .This is achievable provided we bring the right orientation to bear onÂ the projectÂ .It will be difficult to realiseÂ this when the managersÂ Â of thisÂ Â project lack the technical skills for realising the objectives being pursued and think that their involvement in the project is a divine opportunity to solve their material problems.
What is preventing the authorities from doing the right thing?
As I have impliedÂ the managers of the project lack the orientation and the skillsÂ Â for the pursuit andÂ Â realisation of this lofty objectives.I say so because of their outputs I have seen. It is not impossible that a few involved in the project may possess the relevant skills but have not been given the space to apply those skills to the advantage of Nigeria.
How do you mean by space?
The political masters are not really interested in Nigeriaâ€™s greatness, but in what they will get from the coffers of the country may not give opportunity to anyone who is committed to efficiency and effectiveness in handling of national matters. This is because when things are done properly there will be less opportunities for them to get what they do not deserve.
How do we get people with the right orientation to deliver the project?
The key is open-mindedness and patriotismÂ Â which will enableÂ Â the people in government to select the right people who may be within or outside the country.It is important to note that true professionals derive their fulfilment more from having the enabling environment to use their skills optimally than from the material benefits of their efforts.
ThatÂ Â environment is obviouslyÂ absent in Nigeria and I wonâ€™t be surprised to hear that those whoÂ Â know what to do have turned down the invitation to serve. Professionals do not like to be embarrassedÂ Â by appointments they can afford to turn down .