Economic Factors That Can Improve The National Image Or Reputation Of Nigeria And Nigerians Positively
Many countries in the world in the world make great efforts towards building, sustaining and portraying a positive image of itself. This is necessary since a country’s image, to a great extent, determines the level of power, respect and influence it would command in the international community, and other benefits ranging from foreign direct investment to increased capital inflows. On the other hand, a country with an unpleasant reputation could experience antagonism even against its citizens, loss of relevant investments as well as degrading influence at home and abroad. In other words, by losing its positive national image, a nation is at risk of losing its dignity, trust and respect.
Nigeria’s national image or reputation has over the years has been negatively impacted by factors such as stunted growth and development of its economy, political instability, insecurity, unsavory behavior of some of its citizens, bad governance and mismanagement of resources, etc. This has resulted in the unpleasant and unacceptable treatment on the country and its citizens.
It is therefore necessary that appropriate measures are taken to improve the country’s image. However, in order to achieve this, certain key economic factors must be present, effective and monitored.
- Economic Policies and Compliance
Economic policy is a course of action intended to influence or control the behavior of the economy typically implemented and administered by the government.
A government’s economic policy can either be fiscal policy, dealing with taxation and spending, or monetary policy, which concerns the actions of the Central Bank regarding money supply and interest rate. Also, the government’s economic policy can be forward-looking on trade agreements, macroeconomic stabilisation, tariffs, redistribution of income, property or wealth, or regulation of industries and importation.
Through suitable economic policies and policy rules, Nigeria’s government can achieve economic development and growth: increase the income of individuals and businesses, full employment and price stability. The government can through its economic policies and strict adherence/enforcement of these policies, develop the economy, attract foreign investors and build Nigeria’s image in the international community as an economy with favorable Human Development Index, business efficiency and favorable conditions for business operations.
- Per Capita Income
Per Capita Income is a measure of the amount of money earned per person in a nation or geographical region, used to determine the average per-person income and evaluate the standard of living and quality of life of the population. It is an essential factor in every economy. Investors are drawn to countries with high per capita income.
The government, in order to build Nigeria’s image through a high per capita income, must put measures in place to redistribute income and increase the income inflow of individuals.
Through having a high per capita income, Nigeria’s image as a country with favorable Human Development Index (HDI) and high standard of living will be improved.
The products and services a country exports are ambassadors of its national image. Nigeria can cast and recast perceptions about its reputation through its exports.
The promotion of Nigeria’s quality branded and unbranded products will play a significant role in building and sustaining its image on the positive side. The “Made-in-Nigeria” labels will not only attract tourists and foreign investors but will also boost Nigeria’s economic development.
- Tax/Exchange Rates
Tax rate is the ration (usually expressed as a percentage) at which a person or business is taxed while the exchange rate is the value of a country’s currency in comparison to other countries’ currencies.
Tax rate plays a crucial role in the economy of Nigeria. Tax rates affect the prices of goods and services which in turn, has impact on the growth of the economy. On the other hand, exchange rate concerns importation and exportation of goods and services, and has huge impact on international payment and prices of goods and services as well.
While a favorable exchange rate will encourage exportation of goods thereby attracting revenue, a favorable tax rate will attract investors and build Nigeria’s image as a country with favorable conditions for business development.
- Interest Rate
Interest rate is the amount of interest due per period, as a proportion of the amount lent, deposited or borrowed. The interest rate influences the liquidity of cash in the economy.
Higher interest rate on loan decreases cash flow while lower interest rate increases cash flow thereby increasing purchasing power of individuals and also attracting investors. Lowering the interest rate will stimulate and expand Nigeria’s economy thereby boosting its reputation as a developing economy.
Also, by lowering the interest rate, Nigeria’s image as a favorable business environment would be improved, especially at the international level.
The economic factors discussed above are indispensable in any effort geared towards improving Nigeria’s national image and reputation.
They can, if effectively deployed, help in improving Nigeria’s battered international reputation and giving it a real competitive edge over other countries. Nigeria can through the maximization of these economic factors, build a positive image of itself, and be consistently able to compete for consumers, tourists, investors, and the respect and commendation of global actors.
The reputation of Nigerians at the international level will be greatly improved and their respect and dignity restored if the economic factors considered:exports, interest rate, tax/exchange rates, economic policies/compliance and especially, per capita income – are pursued and actualized.
Through a high per capita income, Nigeria’s bad reputation as a poor country will be replaced with the positive image of a country with high standard of living and quality of life.
Through exporting quality and standard products and services, Nigeria’s bad image as a country that deals in fake and substandard products will be changed.
Through sound and pragmatic economic policies, low interest rate and favorable exchange/tax rates, Nigeria can change the narrative of it being an undeveloped economy with unfavorable conditions for business development, and assume the positive image of a developed economy with favorable conditions for business development.
*This article [Economic Factors That Can Improve The National Image Or Reputation Of Nigeria And Nigerians Positively] was first written by Chukwuebuka Usulor on the 1st of April, 2020 and was last modified by Toju Micheal Ogbe on the 2nd of April, 2020.
*This article was last fact-checked by Ayodeji Olowolagba on the 1st of July, 2020.