Nigeria is a huge country that has been gripped by conflict for many years. The country is made up of many different regions, states, local areas, tribes, ethnic groups, religious groups, and more. Nenadi Usman aims to bring those groups together once she is elected again. She believes that it is possible for all the different groups in Nigeria to celebrate their uniqueness and differences, while coming together under one Nigerian branding. Effectively, she wants to improve the work of the Nigeria Image Project that was launched in 2004 and build on The Heart of Africa Project and make it successful.
Why Nenadi Believes in the Importance of Branding Nigeria
There are some key benefits to ensuring efforts are put in place to market the different parts of Nigeria both internally and externally. By having a branding framework in place, there will be a greater understanding of the personality of the country, its educational and economic capabilities, and its human capital. It will also allow for the building of a strategy that brings forward the culture of Nigeria, while promoting tourism at the same time. To achieve this, however, all local government chairmen and state governors must come together to benefit not just the area that they represent, but in fact the country as a whole.
Nenadi also believes that doing so will ensure there is greater opportunities for the country to take advantage of emerging technologies. Nigeria is still classed as an “information poor” country, with too few functioning websites, and too few people who are online. This is something that all areas could work on and they should also use the technology to build their brands. Examples include:
- Kwara State, where Zimbabwean farmers have heavily invested in. Additionally, they were able to attract Jay-Z for the ThisDay Music Festival.
- Abuja, which is the capital of the country. The city seems to always be in a state of development but it is only now that people are welcoming the way the development is going. Various recreational opportunties are being added, Okada motorcycles have been banned, and London cabs have been imported. Meanwhile, there is now an annual carnival and a festival to celebrate unity in Nigeria.
- Anambra state is one where indigenous groups have had a lot of conflict. However, they seem to be coming together now because of the fact that so many famous Nigerians come from here, including Prof. (Mrs) Oby Ezekwesili and Arthur Ekwensi. Additionally, the state is building heavily on tourism, because it has a fantastic history.
- Akwa Ibom and the Lagos, Rivers, and Delta generally have a focus on their natural resources. However, while oil continues to be abundant here and a main source of income, the states are also starting to focus on tourism and actually attract a lot of visitors.
Nenadi believes that all Nigerians should come together to create a singular Nigerian brand in which its different elements are celebrated, and she believes the drive for this should come from the top.