The fresh attempt to remand Nigeria
Nigeria we hail thee, our own dear native land!
Nigeria is at a crossroads again, as we are wont to find the country every now and oft. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti must have indeed chosen a wrong time to die, most because all the things he spoke and sang about, have, or are coming to pass. Now we all live to see what his prophesy is turning to.
The freshest of sundry attempts to ridicule our dear country Nigeria has just been unleashed. Now, we need to take our minds away from the fact that their supposed tripod stand that was to serve as platform for this exercise didn’t come with a third leg. Or could this just be another attempt to regrind Nigeria? If you’re re-branding, what will your proposition, positioning and identity be? No-one has yet told us; or aren’t they applicable in this instance?
My wonderful people had already branded themselves Naija, taking the initiative where the leadership lacked. And we’ve tried to bring about some cohesion in this contraption; trudging and hoping things would sort themselves. Then came the government, again! We must re-brand Nigeria!
Jamaica, Brazil, India, and the UAE, are known peculiarly for something, without having to formally brand or try to re-brand themselves. And these attributes differentiate them in the international comity, and drives the rest of their relationship with other countries. Think about it, whenever you mention any of these countries, what is that item that quickly comes to mind? Jamaica, Brazil, India, and the UAE; Reggae, Football, Movies and Tourism? Juxtapose this against Nigeria, what immediately comes to the mind of a foreigner on hearing the name of this held down country? Use your mind, and furnish only yourself the result, quietly.
... being the main natural resource. This makes Nigeria to be the biggest oil producing country in Africa with a capacity of over ... multi-national oil corporations in Nigeria and the richness in terms of oil reserves in the country, it is ranked among the ... poorest countries in Africa. This means that very rarely does the common citizen in Nigeria realize the benefits of ...
So they finally concluded the branding exercise? Good! Now, that’s the word. Good! NIGERIA: Good people, Great Nation! Well, it sounds very nice, even if only rhetoric, or generic. After all, to be great, you first must be good in whatever you are or in whatever you do. So what does the word GOOD, or goodness connote to the 100 Level student of English? Let’s consider it very quickly just as pedestrianly as the custodians of this exercise have also dished it to us, by taking a trip into the world of Encarta, one of the world’s most authoritative reference books. This is a treatment of difference, or with a difference; so please bear.
of high quality: of a high quality or standard, either on an absolute scale or in relation to another or others (The meal wasn’t good; He’ll make a very good doctor; I smashed one of my good plates ).
So, will someone please tell me the things we do that are of high quality? Those who have never left the shores of this country, and haven’t much to compare it with, still agree it is of inferior quality to most other countries of the world; let alone those who have visited some other countries, even if only Ghana or Namibia.
The government has deliberately ignored bringing the skills of a part of the country to the fore. If we can import cars and other goods from Malaysia and the rest of South East Asian nations, then Nigeria should have at least been at the same stage of development with them. Taiwan used to be synonymous with goods of inferior quality, just like all we consider Ibo-made, before they took the inferior to good quality. But the foresight and sincerity of the government and people of Taiwan made them continually strive to improve on them, buoyed by state resources. Today, Taiwan’s is a formidable economy, and destination for appreciable goods. Yet Nigeria gropes, trying to find only one thing to do well. It’s now so bad that in the age when auto technology has become free globally, we don’t have made-in-Nigeria bicycles, and our own currency is now inferior even to Ghana’s, Ghana!
... one would usually hear in country western music. Obviously this might not be a piece of good quality music to everyone, but if ... of a piece of music often ponders people perception about music quality. Alan Jackson is a country music super star who in which ... been in love can probably correlate and compare feelings. Some people find this peice of music amusing because on the chorus ...
skilled: possessing the necessary skill or talent to do something (I’m not a very good driver; She’s good at science).
How many people are qualified to do the job they are doing, and how many are actually engaged doing what they are trained to do? Alpha Merchant Bank was run aground by a pretender who never went beyond high school, but sweet-tongued a Board of Directors into becoming the MD when Banking/Finance/Accounting graduates littered our landscape. Isn’t it also a calamity that Nigeria’s largest Insurance conglomerate is unfortunately also being run by a trained lawyer?!
virtuous: having or showing an upright and virtuous character (You’re a good man, Joe).
How many good men do we have in government, as chieftaincy title holders, as Pastors and Imams, as scholars or as holders of public office? How many privileged people have been successfully prosecuted for thieving? Was it not also in this Great Country that a crook governor was celebrated by his people for escaping justice abroad? That a ruling party chieftain swam out of Port waters in spite of weighty evidence of embezzlement against him? Where one of the few to have tried prosecuting corrupt leaders ended up being the persecuted? How many pastors are impregnating young members of their church or asking that they be tortured or beaten to death?
affording pleasure: affording pleasure or comfort (He’s a man who insists on the finer things in life: good food, good books, and the theater).
We all know without doubt that this isn’t one country that insists on appreciable quality of life for its citizens. There is a lean access to good food, good books, good life and there’s no question of going to the theatre hungry or when you’ll ignorantly be unable to decipher the movie plot.
undamaged: having undergone no deterioration or damage (I smelled the meat and found it was still good).
On the country being undamaged, Madam Dora should simply take a trip to any town in the Niger Delta (the same lack is replicated in the rest of their towns), and see the devastation in those neighbourhoods, the deprivation in their livelihoods, and the devaluation of their womanhood. Or better still, she can go to the next Iri Ji festival by road, through the Benin-Ore-Onitsha Road, and savour the goodness of the country’s undamaged landscape.
... to remain humble before God. As O’Connor states in Good Country People, “Everybody is different,” Mrs. Hopewell said. “ ... introvert most of her characters are gregarious such as in Good Country People and the character Hulga. Hulga denies herself first in the ... being explained through her characters such as in the story Good Country People. O’Connor was a great user of allegory in her ...
ample: sufficiently large, or providing more than enough of something (Between them they have a good income).
Fine, the whole world agrees Naija has ample income from the sale of crude oil, even much more than the UAE, the new haven for Nigeria’s thieving tribe of politicians. So what is adequate to us? Need I state the insufficiency of infrastructure, insufficiency of schools, insufficiency of houses, insufficiency of food and water, insufficiency of good values, insufficiency of the spirit of national pride, or even the insufficiency of leaders of quality?
honourable: worthy of honour or high esteem (They come from a good family).
Was it not in this same Great Country that a Speaker spoke against her indictment on charges of corruption, choosing not to do the honorable until she was disgracefully impeached?
helpful: helping somebody to organize thoughts or make decisions (She gave me some good advice).
Well, I guess we’re very good here, until it comes to replicating same on the domestic scene. We would always try to maintain peace in DRC, mediate in Rwanda, be willing to send troops to Sudan’s Darfur region, waste Nigerian lives in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and campaign against white minority rule in South Africa and Namibia. We will donate food and medical aids to suffering children across Africa, help Sao Tome and Principe organize its Oil industry, and supply uninterrupted Power Supply to the Republic of Benin. We will give both arms and legs to support black and African renaissance by raising funds for a campaign in far away America, we would set aside state duties just to attend Obama’s inauguration, but we’ll not try organizing a credible election here at home for the rest of the world to congratulate us, and pour into our country in celebration. It is of course less important when it comes to the perennial crises between the Tivs and Junkuns, the Umuleris and Aguleris, Ife and Modakeke.
pleasant: pleasant to look at (Don’t let her good looks distract you from her intelligence).
... They have known that the Nigerian army was the last institution in Nigeria that could practically bind the country. But now, the army ... seems divided. What I know is that the Nigerian army ... We can contain this problem by working with other countries without selling Nigerians to foreigners. My emphasis is that there are some ...
I can agree to this, for as far as aesthetics and cosmetics are concerned. Nigerians, not Nigeria, can be referred to as pleasant, beautiful. Although it is to be mentioned that the Education system has churned out a whole lot of brainless beauties. We are not as deep intellectually as the rest of Africa, and most of those who have excelled have done so independent of the Nigerian system, either by escaping to Legon or Witwatersrand, or just reading up on their own. The easiest way for a Nigerian undergraduate to wriggle out of an intellectual discourse is to mention the word “wharrever”!. Our people are revered all over the world for our beauty, until it gets to our leaders. Of all those who have ruled this beautiful land, only Generals Buhari and Gowon are the photographers’ delight, pleasant to the eyes. IBB is first for charisma however.
beneficial: beneficial to health or well-being (Eating lots of fruit is good for you; It’s good to talk).
What is beneficial to Nigerians, or beneficial to other people about Nigeria? Is it the Environment that we never stop polluting, where more of the meagre number of Parks are being depleted by those converting them to mansions built from their questionable resources? Parks that should have been beneficial to our children in developing their physical and mental talents, yet we expect them to excel in international meets? Is it the infrastructure available at our health institutions where even those in charge of our country’s affairs run abroad for medical attention at the sight of flu, leaving the rest of us to cope with the emptiness or die?
favourable: suitable and likely to produce the right results or conditions (a good time to take a vacation).
What kind of opportunities or financial conditions are available or favourable to Nigerians in a land where it’s easier for Indians to access loans from our banks with little or no collateral, no skills, no know-how, no property here or in India, but only the skin that isn’t black? SMEs have struggled, and they keep struggling, to be favoured, and get facilities from Nigerian banks. What is favourable to the industrialist and businessman in the catapulting of the Naira from N119/$ to N200/$?
meticulous: careful and thorough (Take a good look around).
How meticulous is a country where the electoral Chief Returning Officer is on television giving the verdict of an election in which the ballots are still being collated? Where a former Naval Officer state governor was to later become party chieftain for misapplication (not misappropriation as explained by his collaborator superiors)? And where N2.8b missing Oil money of the late 70’s was later found not missing in principal, only that the accruing interest in the vanishing period was carefully and thoroughly tucked away in private foreign bank accounts?
... be taken personally. Bad things happen to good people.Just as often, good things happen to bad people. Most of these occurrences cannot be ... logical that sometimes those bad things are going to affect good people. And it goes beyond just that. The world is ... Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to bad people? These two questions have bewildered mankind throughout the ...
financially advantageous: financially or commercially advantageous or reliable (I made a few good investments last year).
It would be very nice to let Nigerians know what our national investments are, and if the answer is in Oil (and Gas), I wish to know what has become of that. A country helping other countries organize their own Oil industries but gropes under perennial fuel scarcity can not be said to be a wholesome country. And a country begging perpetually for debt cancellation still can’t be said to be financially advantageous. And I’m sure Nigerians yearn for answers to what has become of the foreign reserves OBJ dutifully set aside over his own eight years of misadventure, wasted on his second attempt at the Musical Chairs.
Commercially, how many investors would rather invest in Nigeria, than South Africa, Egypt, or even Ghana; and how many more would invest here before venturing into these other countries? The indices just don’t offer any advantages. Take the epileptic condition of Energy, the insurmountable nature of corruption in government and the non-existence of secure environment conducive to doing business.
able to do more: remaining in operation or effect, or able to continue doing something (The car will be good for another 6,000 miles).
Isn’t it sheer miracle that Nigeria is still in existence in spite of the continuing rape of its treasury? It’s no surprise the country is still willing to do more for the few with the stranglehold on its now lean neck. It promises to keep going though, the resources are just so enormous, only that they’re never going round.
sizable: considerable in extent or size (a good selection of books on computers).
Of course Nigeria is undoubtedly a very big country, the most populous black and African nation, but there, unfortunately, is where the stature ends. But maybe we are on our way to having a huge debt portfolio, no-one is willing to review our mass illiteracy status, and here’s Africa’s largest tribe of the unemployed.
... made the movie industry develop rapidly, and it has also been a good source of revenue for countries that engage in it ... to given that the “Fountain Head” of movie productions in Nigeria. The veterans with excellent Theatrical skills and excellent performances took ... derived its powers ranged from your 1948 Cinematograph Laws of Nigeria, the Cinematograph Laws of 1963, towards 1963/64 Cinematograph ...
Madam Akunyili, in communicating this exercise, the world isn’t fooled. To be truly great, we first need to change our attitude, our values, and our leadership needs to be taken seriously; and it goes beyond sloganeering. I marvel at how our public officials just love to do follow follow and harp on any slogan or cliche until they stop understanding its meaning, if they ever did, that is. I still heard a Minister in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, last year, promising something to happen ‘by the year 2000’!
Branding itself is the sum of the functional and emotional characteristics, tangible and intangible, attributed or attributable to us by the rest of the world; and such characteristics may be embodied in our name, flag, coat of arms, symbols and other national paraphernalia differentiating us from other countries of the world, especially as differentiation is the most important concept in the creation of a formidable brand. Good People, great nation can be snatched and claimed by any country that may actually even be more qualified to lay such claims.
Creating a successful brand franchise extends to mobilizing the entire country (including the kind of orientation provided by the leadership), not with the “do as I say” mentality. Leaders should show direction, otherwise the people will find their way. A whole lot needs to change, from the look and feel of our cities, to the approach of our leaders to governance; from the sincerity of our relationship with foreigners, to the attitude of our people to work, to values and the indices of success. It is also about the nationalism consciousness of those who represent us as Ministers, ambassadors, artistes and athletes, even reality TV contestants. They are our primary ambassadors, while the rest of us are secondary ambassadors. There should be a Nigeria First spirit. Not the kind of spirit that make Lagos State legislators fly flags of foreign countries on their official cars! It is only afterwards that the media have content to report. You don’t call Nigeria a great nation baselessly! Marketing Communication only rides on the back, to reflect and reinforce the positive values as exhibited and as visible.
And to think all this is happening in spite of the robust Marketing Communication industry we have. It is a pity, a huge spite on our membership of a noble profession. Little wonder though, APCON has not been able to protect us, speak for us, or even fight for us. Reasons are not far fetched: some of those who hold sway here, also gate-crashed into the industry.
It is probably only in the Marketing Communication industry you find people practicing only because they have ‘the flair’! It beats me to realize some of us have gone to school conscientiously, only to come and contend with quacks in this Marketing Communication industry, yet another pointer to the failure the country has become.
I’ve never heard some Solicitor standing before a Judge, representing another, without first having read Law, passing through the Law School, and being called to the Bar. Sheer flair would land you in jail, long before you can even dream of becoming the Justice Minister. In similar vein, I don’t think anyone in Nigeria, dares dream of practicing Medicine and going ahead to become Health Minister because of mere flair. That would be the day! But it’s only in our dear constituency that a Pharmacist will gloriously sit and run things. This is of course not to take away anything from the impressive stewardship of Madam Akunyili in her last obligation, just a pity that in the terrain at hand, she’s a square peg indeed. Pronto!
Why don’t we also just appoint Kanu Nwankwo Health Minister just because he has made exceeding contributions to the world of Sports?
Does anyone still think we should expend valuable time discussing what makes a GREAT NATION?