Political Factors That Can Improve The National Image Or Reputation Of Nigeria And Nigerians Positively
A lot of countries in the world demonstrate sensitivity, care and preservation of their national image or reputation expending vast resources in order to improve and maintain it at all levels. The perception of a country’s image influences its relevance and authority in the comity of nations. A positive image of a country attracts prestige, respect and investments. On the other hand, a country’s bad image would reduce its influence and deny it strategic benefits in the international political/economic system.
Nigeria has over the years made strategic efforts in order to create, portray and sustain a positive and appealing image – both nationally and internationally.
At this time, more work is still required to be done.
In order for Nigeria to improve its reputation on the positive side, certain political factors must be employed. The recognition and adherence to these factors can improve the reputation of the country. These factors include: an effective foreign diplomatic engagement, trustworthy media (public relations), security and commitment to good governance.
- Foreign Policy
Foreign policy, which deals with a way country relates externally with other countries, is a crucial factor that determines how a country is perceived or related with. Image making is an essential feature of Nigeria’s foreign policy. In essence, Nigeria’s image can be improved positively by rebranding its foreign policy by engaging in effective diplomatic approaches (a viable, visionary and holistic foreign policy roadmap, maintaining competent diplomatic missions, lobbying networks), engaging purposefully with and incorporating Nigerians in the Diaspora, active, responsive and genuine participation in relevant economic and foreign humanitarian missions. By redirecting its diplomatic compass, transforming and realigning its foreign policy architecture to reflect the trends and demands of every-dynamic modern world, Nigeria can boost its reputation at the international level.
- Media (Public Relations)
Improving on the reputation and national brand of Nigeria involves a well-planned, systemic and sustainable effort to reposition its image through the change or transformation of perception.
By transforming the national image of Nigeria, the negative perception of Nigeria by the international community would be changed. Nigeria’s government can drive the national identity of Nigeria and Nigerians by prioritizing the communication and encouragement of citizens who are making noteworthy, positive and innovative contributions to world civilization. This can be achieved with the power of an objective and trustworthy media and public relations.
A well thought out and carefully implemented image rebranding will reposition Nigeria as a modern and progressive nation, improve national life and boost its positive image.
Security is defined as a measure taken by the state to protect itself against all acts designed to endanger it or impair its effectiveness.
Nigeria has a long period of contention with terror and insecurity, which has posed a threat to its corporate existence. This has attracted negative ratings and perceptions to Nigeria, including diplomatic statements by other countries warning their citizens to avoid traveling to some States in Nigeria.
The government should take concrete steps and consolidate efforts in order to eliminate all outstanding security threats in the country including armed robbery, terrorism, human trafficking, and kidnapping.
Success in tackling the security challenges in the country will attract positive security indicators, improve Nigeria’s image as a safe and secure for Nigerians and foreigners.
- Good Governance
Corruption and lack of transparency attracts negative perception and ratings from international organisations and countries. Corruption includes bribery, fraud and other offenses, which offend the laws of the land and confer unjust benefits on the perpetrators. Corruption militates against efficiency, transparency and integrity in any system it exists in.
Nigeria’s bad image as a poorly governed country has been a result of weak institutions, disregard for the rule of law, lack of accountability in governance, widespread corruption (massive embezzlement of public funds and nepotism).
Election is the single most important indicator of the presence of a democratic government as citizens choose and confer legitimacy on their leaders and representatives. By reviewing its electoral process and securing its integrity and transparency, Nigeria would improve to a great extent, its reputation as a democratic society. For Nigeria’s reputation to improve, elections must be conducted in a manner devoid of fraud, violence, manipulations and other vices. A viable, transparent, independent and trusted electoral process will boost Nigeria’s image as a democratic society.
Furthermore, in order to attract positive ratings and improve the image of Nigeria positively, the government and all citizens must commit themselves to the task of shunning corruption, promoting and enthroning transparency and fiscal responsibility in policies and governance process.
It is vital that Nigeria should wear a positive image and improve its reputation. This is especially necessary to avoid the limitations and hardships that are imposed on Nigerians as a result of Nigeria’s negative perception at the international level, which affects the dignity of the Nigerian people as well as serve as hindrance to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) needed for the acceleration of the country’s economic growth.
Improving Nigeria’s image can only be achieved through tact, strategy and honest efforts, which would be targeted at transforming Nigeria’s foreign policy and foreign relations, media and national identity management (public relations), improved security of life and property, and ensuring transparency and integrity in governance and integrity in policies and public affairs.
*This article [Political Factors That Can Improve The National Image Or Reputation Of Nigeria And Nigerians Positively] was first written by Chukwuebuka Usulor on the 12th of February, 2020 and was last modified by Toju Micheal Ogbe on the 12th of February, 2020.
*This article was last fact-checked by Ayodeji Olowolagba on the 1st of July, 2020.