Tamunobarabi Gogo Ibulubo, AfricaNews reporter in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
The Nigerian government has launched a national image campaign aimed at reversing the negative perception held by people about that country and its people. The campaign kicked off with the launch of the slogan and logo in Abuja, Nigeria.
The vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who unveiled and presented the logo/slogan to the public said the re-branding launch does not mean a quick solution to the plethora of problems prevalent in the country.
The problems he listed included poor road network, epileptic power supply, poor health service, corruption, unemployment, election rigging, internet scam, drugs and other negative attributes that Nigeria has been associated with over the years. These he said will not just disappear but as the re-branding campaign subsists there will be a national ethical revolution that would nip them in the bud.
He urged Nigerians to continue to make valuable sacrifice, develop a positive mindset that things can work well in the country, be committed to upholding community value and live by integrity. While the government would pursue the Millennium Development Goals in building the institutions that would encourage national re-orientation, moral re-armament, and holistic push to inculcate believe in Nigeria as government is run with a responsive spirit to the need of the people on the pedestal of the rule of law.
The Chairman of the occasion, Yakubu Gowon, said no matter the negative perception held about Nigeria and its people, the problem can be redeemed if all Nigeria will develop positive attitude towards Nigeria and stop running it down with acts and words.
He urged the leadership to lead by examples and work to make better lives for the average Nigeria. Then it will be difficult to neither celebrate the ills nor be held ransom to the criminal few whose activities are seen as representation of what Nigeria is.
The Minister of Information and Communication, Professor Dora Akunyili, said though similar image re-branding projects had been undertaken in the past like the MAMSER, WAI and HEART OF AFRICA PROJECT, the present version is different because it is home grown, launched in Nigeria and propelled by Nigerians to make Nigeria be seen as a positive and good world citizen.
With the project, other nationals will not be trusted to tell Nigeria stories from their perspectives. Nigerians must therefore acknowledge their good attributes and celebrate them with believe in themselves. Then with systematic information dissemination activities minds will be re-orientated and Nigeria can be equipped to tell Nigeria stories.
The re-branding she said, will attract foreign investors, tourists, create employment for Nigerians, reduce crime, build trusted institutions, make Nigerian want to do things for Nigeria, stop harassing of Nigerians at embassies, airports in other countries and build a strong Nigeria spirit of wanting to 'die for one's country'.
Professor Akunyili said the project is people centered, internally based, motivate, inspire and promote the Nigerian and national values. It is people private public partnership venture to create rigorous awareness, encourage participatory/consultative approaches and regular national tour to every state of the federation.
The focus will beam on school children also for value orientation, build honesty and get valuable feedback from all the regions with the committee of information commissioners in the states headed by Edet Asim of Cross Rivers State coordinating their state activities.
The slogan is 'Nigeria, Good people great Nation' created by Chike Obinah. Already the slogan will be sent via cell phones to 60 million Nigerians.