A conceptual hole nonetheless exists within the understanding of the rules and practices of place branding amongst Nigeria’s many state and native authorities officers. Regardless of the efforts on the centre to advertise this novel idea that has been described by branding professionals as one of many quickest rising data sectors in world branding and advertising, it seems that place branding is essentially solely linked and related to the assorted actions embarked upon by the federal authorities, aimed toward enhancing Nigeria’s picture within the worldwide neighborhood, and to place her as a very good vacation spot for tourism and funding in sub-saharan Africa.
For the reason that Nigerian authorities launched the Nigeria Picture Venture in 2004, which was subsequently re-branded The Coronary heart of Africa Venture, not a lot has been seen from the respective native and state governments within the route of formulating methods to draw international traders and vacationers to their varied cities, villages and states. This overwhelming notion that place branding rests with the centre quantities to defeatist and defective logic as a result of in response to Tom Traynor & Ro Breehl ‘each place does have some distinction, some motive to reside there, work there, trip there, slightly than another place’. In addition they argue that discovering that ‘true compelling declare of distinction’ will be exhausting work which plenty of tourism boards, metropolis councils, enterprise enchancment districts aren’t ready for, ‘preferring as an alternative to maneuver on to (inevitably drab) promoting execution’. This line of least resistance
seems to be the one towed by Nigeria’s state and native authorities officers.
There are a lot of advantages to states and native governments who make acutely aware efforts to market their areas each to inside and exterior stakeholders. If the governments in these states and native governments can institute sound fiscal insurance policies and spend money on infrastructures, the job of promoting their locations turns into simpler. The place to begin could be the event of a branding framework and technique encompassing their distinctive cultural, tourism, human capital, financial, instructional and persona belongings. The second stage could be the implementation of the technique by appointed advertising communication professionals working carefully with the commissioners of knowledge and technique; the native governments may additionally do the same factor by appointing certified supervising councillors to move the data and communication items of the native governments.
The respective state governors and native authorities chairmen having recognised the strategic significance of managing their model belongings may additionally arrange small committees headed by advertising communication professionals, to coordinate their varied place branding efforts. Appointing non-professionals to such positions purely on political grounds is definitely counter –productive and will undermine their prospects of reaping the advantages of financial growth which strategic place branding might entice.
Donald Duke, the saxophone enjoying governor of Cross River state offers a very good mannequin for different states and native governments in Nigeria to repeat. He has consciously pursued a coverage of shying away from controversy since he grew to become the governor of the state. This has helped be sure that his status stays fairly intact as he has not been named or talked about in any media report, nor by Nigeria’s Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC) as one of many corrupt governors. That is fairly encouraging as the identical can’t be stated about his colleagues.
Governor Duke’s admirers reduce throughout completely different age teams and gender, not solely due to his boyish seems to be, social savvy and bespoke vogue sense but in addition as a result of he is likely one of the few governors which have really applied programmes which have immediately impacted on the lives of his individuals. He has gone a step additional along with his Tinapa challenge (Africa’s premier enterprise resort); a challenge which when accomplished would put his state and Nigeria on the map of world tourism. The state authorities has additionally arrange well-designed and maintained web sites – http://www.tinapa.com and [http://www.crossriverstate.com] which serves as its home windows to the world. The calabar and Cross River manufacturers have steadily improved as sturdy Nigerian manufacturers throughout Governor Duke’s keep on the authorities home.
Nigeria’s many states and native governments ought to certainly reap the benefits of rising applied sciences such because the web and incorporate them as governance instruments, many don’t but have functioning web sites, and for some that do, their websites lack the skilled contact that may assist improve their general model picture.
One other state which just lately impressed is Kwara state. Kudos to the state governor, Bukola Saraki who has managed to draw sacked Zimbabwean farmers to the state, and have saved religion with them regardless of the criticisms his authorities obtained over the transfer. A few of the criticisms had been slightly unfair and appeared ill-informed because the potential financial advantages to the state and her residents had been clearly neglected by the critics. The Kwara state authorities just lately scored one other PR coup which might assist challenge the picture of the state additional; it efficiently exploited the chance of the ThisDay music competition and invited the star attraction Jay-Z to Kwara state to fee some authorities tasks. Throughout his go to to the state, Jay-Z was honoured by the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari and likewise had a highway named after him – Shawn “Jay – Z” Carter Highway.
It’s certainly a constructive factor for the state to have Jay-Z dressed up in native aso oke apparel driving the standard horse throughout his turbanning ceremony. Such photographs beamed the world over are literally priceless and will assist to challenge the Kwara state model additional. Nonetheless for this PR coup to really influence on the financial system of the state, the Kwara state authorities should additionally complement its efforts with good governance.
Abuja, Nigeria’s capital metropolis has additionally achieved effectively on this regard and appears to be having fun with a brand new lease of life, acutely aware efforts by the federal capital territory (FCT) minister Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and his staff to sanitise the town seems to be paying off, a few of these efforts although have come at a heavy value reminiscent of homelessness for the residents of the homes demolished through the varied rounds of demolition workout routines within the metropolis. Residents nevertheless admire the altering face of Abuja and the assorted recreation parks now accessible for his or her use. The FCT minister has launched into insurance policies to alter the face of the town which typically appeared controversial. His ban on Okada (industrial bikes), importation of London cabs and vigorous pursuit and implementation of the Abuja grasp plan has led to the demolition of unlawful buildings in and across the metropolis, and has in so doing reclaimed again lands which have now been remodeled into parks for the enjoyment of metropolis residents and guests. Nigeria’s capital metropolis has additionally consolidated efforts at re-branding its picture by means of music, artwork, tourism and enterprise. The annual Abuja carnival modelled after the Rio de Janerio carnival, Abuja Rocks @ 30 (an leisure bundle to have fun the town’s 30 years and strengthen the consciousness of unity in Nigeria) and the proposed Abuja tower are a number of the efforts aimed toward repositioning Abuja as a very good vacation spot, such efforts would additionally assist to stretch the Abuja model additional.
States reminiscent of Anambra state have quite a bit to do to enhance their model picture which has been negatively undermined by the actions of indigenous politicians reminiscent of Chris Ubah and Emeka Offor earlier than him. The present governor Mr. Peter Obi along with his non-public sector background and expertise seems to be the appropriate man for the job however his sluggish begin has continued to draw the criticisms of Anambra state indigenes whose persistence at the moment are working out. With all the fabric and human sources that abound within the state, together with the additional benefit of being the house state of some well-known Nigerians reminiscent of Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chinua Achebe, Phillip Emeagwali, Arthur Ekwensi, Prof. Charles Soludo, Emeka Anyaoku, Prof. (Mrs) Oby Ezekwesili and so on.
Anambra state ought to certainly be greater than it’s in the intervening time. Worryingly, the state authorities seems to not be fairly in sync with present perceptions and ideas in place branding. The one reported effort at rebranding Anambra state was the altering of the state’s slogan from Anambra – House for all to Anambra – House for all good individuals. Absolutely the state can do higher. A part of the issues with the Anambra model is the final notion that its residents are primarily thinking about industrial pursuits as towards mental engagements, the state additionally continues to undergo from the large burden of the political class, most just lately the state legislators have initiated the method of impeaching Mr. Peter Obi thus fuelling additional instability, riots and demonstrations within the state. It’s about time that Anambra state, a possible financial and regional tiger wakes up and begins to harness her true potentials for the advantages of her indigenes. Historic websites such because the Ogbunike cave, Agulu lake, Igwe Osita Agwuna’s Obu Ofor Nri palace, Ochanja most important market and so on must be actively positioned as enterprise and vacationer sights. Additionally with the rise in curiosity in Igbo tradition and historical past, packaged and guided excursions to the cities in Nri kingdom (the acclaimed cradle of Igbo civilisation and ancestral house of Ndigbo) may additionally assist in extending the Anambra model worldwide. The latter strategy is favoured by Chikodi Anunobi, writer of the guide Nri Warriors of Peace. In line with him ‘The story of Nri dynasty sums up the story of Ndigbo, and so anyone wishing to know extra about Ndigbo and their historical past is best off visiting Nri cities’.
The Lagos, Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom state governments have repeatedly did not capitalise on the wealthy pure sources plentiful of their states, they’ve additionally not absolutely exploited the large presence of international nationals of their states who’re energetic within the oil and fuel business, these expatriates may simply function unofficial goodwill ambassadors of those states to their respective house nations and assist them to draw further international direct investments in different sectors. Regardless of the large revenues these states earn as oil producing states and the blessings of Mom Nature which has richly endowed them with oceans, rivers, fertile farmlands and crude oil, infrastructural growth has not been high on the agenda of the respective governments thus making it tough to leverage on their pure model belongings to efficiently model their cities and states as Nigeria’s favorite locations for tourism and enterprise.
The unrest and spate of kidnappings within the Niger Delta area by organisations reminiscent of MEND (Motion for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta Individuals) have additionally additional eroded the model photographs of the affected states. If President Obasanjo’s varied financial reforms start to repay, and the a real ambiance of competitors emerges within the Nigerian socio-economic terrain, these states might discover themselves being ignored within the scramble for enabling funding climates, as each potential traders and human capital might selected solely these cities and states which have positively positioned their manufacturers and successfully communicated their place model belongings.
It’s within the curiosity of the federal authorities of Nigeria to actively contain the states and native governments on this new drive to re-brand Nigeria, state and native authorities officers must be inspired to arrange standing committees or to have designated positions chargeable for liaising with the officers of Nigeria’s ministry of knowledge and nationwide orientation (the overseeing ministry of the Coronary heart of Africa challenge), that is with the intention to share concepts and undertake fashions of greatest observe. The just lately concluded 2-day Nationwide Convention on the Nigeria Model and Financial Growth tagged Thoughts the Hole 2006 offered a very good alternative to get each the states and native governments concerned, but it surely stays to be seen in the event that they had been even invited.