Rebranding Nigeria’s Cities

A conceptual gap even now exists in the understanding of the concepts and practices of area branding amongst Nigeria’s a lot of condition and regional governing administration officials. In spite of the efforts at the centre to encourage this novel strategy that has been described by branding experts as one of the speediest expanding understanding sectors in worldwide branding and internet marketing, it seems that place branding is mostly only linked and associated with the several functions embarked on by the federal authorities, aimed at improving Nigeria’s image in the international group, and to posture her as a excellent spot for tourism and investment decision in sub-saharan Africa.

Considering that the Nigerian government launched the Nigeria Impression Undertaking in 2004, which was subsequently re-branded The Heart of Africa Job, not much has been seen from the respective local and point out governments in the route of formulating approaches to entice international investors and travelers to their several towns, villages and states. This overwhelming notion that position branding rests with the centre amounts to defeatist and faulty logic for the reason that in accordance to Tom Traynor & Ro Breehl ‘every area does have some distinction, some purpose to are living there, operate there, getaway there, fairly than some other place’. They also argue that discovering that ‘true compelling claim of distinction’ can be hard function which a lot of tourism boards, town councils, company improvement districts are not geared up for, ‘preferring alternatively to shift specifically to (inevitably drab) advertising execution’. This line of the very least resistance
seems to be the just one towed by Nigeria’s state and area governing administration officials.

There are quite a few added benefits to states and community governments who make acutely aware attempts to industry their locations both to inner and external stakeholders. If the governments in these states and neighborhood governments can institute sound fiscal policies and devote in infrastructures, the position of promoting their sites gets to be simpler. The beginning position would be the development of a branding framework and strategy encompassing their unique cultural, tourism, human capital, economic, educational and individuality belongings. The next stage would be the implementation of the tactic by appointed promoting interaction professionals operating intently with the commissioners of facts and technique the regional governments could also do a very similar thing by appointing capable supervising councillors to head the information and facts and communication models of the regional governments.

The respective condition governors and area government chairmen getting recognised the strategic significance of controlling their model property could also set up modest committees headed by advertising and marketing interaction gurus, to coordinate their different put branding endeavours. Appointing non-professionals to this kind of positions purely on political grounds is truly counter –productive and could undermine their prospective customers of reaping the rewards of financial advancement which strategic area branding might attract.

Donald Duke, the saxophone actively playing governor of Cross River state presents a good design for other states and regional governments in Nigeria to copy. He has consciously pursued a plan of shying absent from controversy given that he turned the governor of the point out. This has helped guarantee that his track record remains rather intact as he has not been named or stated in any media report, nor by Nigeria’s Financial and Money Crimes Commission (EFCC) as one particular of the corrupt governors. This is fairly encouraging as the same can not be mentioned about his colleagues.

Governor Duke’s admirers minimize throughout different age teams and gender, not only since of his boyish appears to be, social savvy and bespoke style sense but also due to the fact he is a single of the handful of governors that have really executed programmes that have directly impacted on the life of his people today. He has long gone a step further more with his Tinapa challenge (Africa’s premier organization resort) a job which when accomplished would set his state and Nigeria on the map of environment tourism. The state government has also set up well-developed and maintained internet sites – and [] which serves as its home windows to the earth. The calabar and Cross River models have steadily enhanced as powerful Nigerian brand names in the course of Governor Duke’s keep at the government dwelling.

Nigeria’s quite a few states and community governments ought to in truth take benefit of emerging systems such as the world wide web and integrate them as governance resources, a lot of do not still have working sites, and for some that do, their web-sites lack the qualified contact that would aid enrich their overall model picture.

A different condition which lately impressed is Kwara state. Kudos to the state governor, Bukola Saraki who has managed to bring in sacked Zimbabwean farmers to the condition, and have kept faith with them despite the criticisms his authorities been given around the move. Some of the criticisms were instead unfair and appeared ill-informed as the possible economic rewards to the state and her citizens ended up of course disregarded by the critics. The Kwara point out federal government lately scored another PR coup which would help job the graphic of the state further it effectively exploited the option of the ThisDay tunes festival and invited the star attraction Jay-Z to Kwara state to commission some governing administration initiatives. During his pay a visit to to the point out, Jay-Z was honoured by the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari and also experienced a road named right after him – Shawn “Jay – Z” Carter Highway.

It is without a doubt a beneficial factor for the point out to have Jay-Z dressed up in indigenous aso oke attire riding the conventional horse all through his turbanning ceremony. This kind of visuals beamed throughout the entire world are essentially priceless and could help to task the Kwara point out brand more. Even so for this PR coup to in fact impression on the economy of the point out, the Kwara condition federal government ought to also complement its efforts with superior governance.

Abuja, Nigeria’s money town has also done effectively in this regard and appears to be taking pleasure in a new lease of lifetime, mindful attempts by the federal capital territory (FCT) minister Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and his group to sanitise the metropolis appears to be paying out off, some of these endeavours even though have come at a weighty cost these as homelessness for the people of the properties demolished in the course of the several rounds of demolition exercises in the town. People even so respect the transforming confront of Abuja and the numerous recreation parks now obtainable for their use. The FCT minister has embarked on policies to modify the face of the city which sometimes appeared controversial. His ban on Okada (industrial motorcycles), importation of London cabs and vigorous pursuit and implementation of the Abuja master plan has led to the demolition of illegal structures in and around the town, and has in so undertaking reclaimed back again lands which have now been reworked into parks for the pleasure of metropolis inhabitants and guests. Nigeria’s funds city has also consolidated efforts at re-branding its graphic by means of tunes, art, tourism and small business. The annual Abuja carnival modelled immediately after the Rio de Janerio carnival, Abuja Rocks @ 30 (an enjoyment package deal to rejoice the city’s 30 years and strengthen the consciousness of unity in Nigeria) and the proposed Abuja tower are some of the endeavours aimed at repositioning Abuja as a superior place, these endeavours would also enable to stretch the Abuja manufacturer more.

States these kinds of as Anambra state have a ton to do to enhance their brand impression which has been negatively undermined by the things to do of indigenous politicians this sort of as Chris Ubah and Emeka Offor prior to him. The recent governor Mr. Peter Obi with his non-public sector background and knowledge seems to be the right person for the position but his sluggish begin has ongoing to appeal to the criticisms of Anambra point out indigenes whose persistence are now managing out. With all the material and human means that abound in the point out, which include the further benefit of becoming the home state of some renowned Nigerians this kind of as Rt. Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chinua Achebe, Phillip Emeagwali, Arthur Ekwensi, Prof. Charles Soludo, Emeka Anyaoku, Prof. (Mrs) Oby Ezekwesili etcetera.

Anambra condition need to in truth be additional than it is at the second. Worryingly, the point out govt appears not to be really in sync with latest perceptions and concepts in location branding. The only claimed effort at rebranding Anambra state was the modifying of the state’s slogan from Anambra – Household for all to Anambra – Dwelling for all good persons. Definitely the condition can do far better. Portion of the problems with the Anambra model is the typical notion that its citizens are predominantly intrigued in professional pursuits as versus mental engagements, the state also proceeds to put up with from the big burden of the political course, most recently the condition legislators have initiated the system of impeaching Mr. Peter Obi therefore fuelling more instability, riots and demonstrations in the condition. It’s about time that Anambra point out, a potential economic and regional tiger wakes up and begins to harness her correct potentials for the benefits of her indigenes. Historic sites these kinds of as the Ogbunike cave, Agulu lake, Igwe Osita Agwuna’s Obu Ofor Nri palace, Ochanja most important industry and so on ought to be actively positioned as small business and tourist points of interest. Also with the increase in interest in Igbo society and record, packaged and guided tours to the towns in Nri kingdom (the acclaimed cradle of Igbo civilisation and ancestral property of Ndigbo) could also enable in extending the Anambra manufacturer around the world. The latter approach is favoured by Chikodi Anunobi, author of the book Nri Warriors of Peace. According to him ‘The tale of Nri dynasty sums up the story of Ndigbo, and so anybody wishing to know far more about Ndigbo and their heritage is much better off visiting Nri towns’.

The Lagos, Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom point out governments have repeatedly failed to capitalise on the loaded all-natural sources abundant in their states, they have also not fully exploited the big presence of overseas nationals in their states who are energetic in the oil and fuel sector, these expatriates could very easily serve as unofficial goodwill ambassadors of these states to their respective residence nations and support them to draw in further foreign immediate investments in other sectors. Inspite of the big revenues these states gain as oil creating states and the blessings of Mom Character which has richly endowed them with oceans, rivers, fertile farmlands and crude oil, infrastructural enhancement has not been leading on the agenda of the respective governments thus generating it tough to leverage on their organic model property to effectively brand name their cities and states as Nigeria’s favourite locations for tourism and business.

The unrest and spate of kidnappings in the Niger Delta region by organisations this sort of as MEND (Motion for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta People today) have also further eroded the manufacturer photographs of the impacted states. If President Obasanjo’s various economic reforms begin to shell out off, and the a genuine environment of competitiveness emerges in the Nigerian socio-financial terrain, these states may perhaps uncover by themselves remaining left out in the scramble for enabling expenditure climates, as both equally prospective traders and human cash might selected only individuals cities and states that have positively positioned their brand names and proficiently communicated their put model assets.

It is in the fascination of the federal authorities of Nigeria to actively include the states and community governments in this new push to re-brand name Nigeria, condition and local federal government officers really should be encouraged to set up standing committees or to have designated positions liable for liaising with the officials of Nigeria’s ministry of facts and national orientation (the overseeing ministry of the Heart of Africa job), this is in buy to share suggestions and undertake designs of greatest observe. The just lately concluded 2-day Countrywide Conference on the Nigeria Brand name and Economic Growth tagged Intellect the Gap 2006 introduced a excellent prospect to get both the states and regional governments concerned, but it continues to be to be noticed if they were even invited.