Nigerians are a very confident people who believe in themselves. We see success in our lives in the form of individuals overcoming innumerable odds. However, if there is one thing the re-branding campaign, introduced last week by Dora Akunyili, reinforces, it is that Nigerians do not have much faith in their government. That is understandable because over time the government has not fulfilled its duties to the people, many of whom remain poor or lack basic infrastructure and necessities. Since its launch, the "Nigeria. Good People, Great Nation' project hit a few bumps along the way and faced criticism, constructive and otherwise. Although many of Nigerian Curiosity's readers disagree, I personally believe that it is an effort worthy of support because Nigeria's image definitely needs an upgrade.
THE NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE
And now, the Nigerian Police Force wants to jump on the re-branding bandwagon. According to the Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro,
"There is no way you can re-brand Nigeria effectively and successfully without re-branding the various sections that make up Nigeria; the various organisations, units, ministries, parastatals and the individuals beginning with the Nigerian Police". [sic]Okiro is correct to suggest that changing Nigeria's image must include a reworking of the smaller units that make up the whole. But, the Police Force does not need the re-branding campaign to improve its own image, especially as the re-branding campaign has a very limited budget. While this might provide a prime opportunity for the Police force to take upon rebranding its image, there are other things it can do to achieve that goal. For the Police Force to lose its reputation as a corrupt organization, it will have to keep crime rates low, come to the aid of defenseless citizens and take care of police officers so as to lessen their need to rely on corrupt practices to provide for their families. The Police Force will have to be associated with success in the form of results to truly transform its image and that is a goal it can achieve with focus and an appropriate strategy.
CONCRETE ACTION...DEFINITE RESULTS
That same approach - concrete actions with definite results - will also help Nigeria achieve the goal of revamping its image. The arrest and sentencing of individuals like Lawal Nurudeen who managed to defraud an Australian of $47,000 is definitely a step in showing the world that Nigeria will not tolerate advance fee fraud a plague on the nation's reputation. However, to show Nigerians that the government will no longer tolerate incompetency and corruption, the federal government must arrest and detain those who stole from the public coffers. The people once had hope that those responsible for their poverty will face justice, but that hope is beginning to dim. The law must be applied equally to all to provide credibility to the government and its programs.
This administration must also produce on its promises. The promise made last week by the Minister of Power that more electricity will be generated by the end of this year, must be kept and all Nigerians cannot wait for the manifestation of this promise. The achievement of such goals will help to bolster confidence that this government is capable of addressing the needs of the people. Such confidence will translate into goodwill for the federal government and its programs, such as the current re-branding effort.
Nigerians are not perfect. But, as individuals, they make up a collective group of ingenious, persevering and successful people. They only need their federal government and other political leaders to reflect that very important aspect of Nigeria. When that happens, there will be little need for re-branding as the Nigerian brand will speak for itself at home and abroad. Nigerians, from politicians to the average citizen, have to commit themselves to representing success in order to transform the way they and the world see Nigeria. In the meantime, a better logo would not hurt.
Please read Akin's astute review of blogger's varied reactions to the "Re-Branding Nigeria" launching the first week at Nigerians Talk, a new site that provides a weekly review of the Nigerian blogosphere.
Related Articles of Interest:
- Nigeria's Re-branding Effort
- Using Nigerians to Re-Brand Nigeria
- Re-branding Nigeria: Success is the Key
- Rebranding Nigeria: With Britain's Help?
- The Nigerian Psyche
- Persistent Psychological Paralysis
- The Significance of Persistent Psychological Paralysis