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PROJECT TOPIC- OPINION ON THE REBRANDING NIGERIA CAMPAIGN SPEARHEADED BY THE FEDERAL INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION MINISTRY

PROJECT TOPIC- OPINION ON THE REBRANDING NIGERIA CAMPAIGN SPEARHEADED BY THE FEDERAL INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION  MINISTRY

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Many Nigerians are not showing great excitement and interest about the Nigeria “image rebranding project of the federal Government. The view is that the campaign tagged “GOOD PEOPLE, GREAT NATION” which later changed to “UPLIFT THE PEOPLE AND UNITE THE NATION” spearheaded by information and communications minister, professor Dora Akunyili might not achieve its desired goal after all. Many letters and reports have also been published in newspaper and magazines on either supporting the rebranding efforts, in one of such letters published on the 13th of April 2009 edition of the punch, the writer state that Nigeria can achieve rebranding by having daily power supply making public all monies recovered from probes on power and revamping all sectors the Nigeria economic. Aregshola (2009) in his view believes that the image of the country can begin to do the right thing. He stated thus:

But until then, any campaign aimed at improving Nigeria’s image would be an exercise in futility and a sheer waste of human and material resources (Aregbeshola 2009 p.1)

   This campaign arrived at rebranding Nigeria’s image in the international community also provoked a salvo of accusations from the academia. In faulting the project, the chairman of academic staff union of universities, federal university of Agriculture, Makurdi Branch, J.D Amine and his Benue state university counterpart Ralph Amokaha stated in Daily independent newspaper of 10th April 2009 that the project was all about packaging the same old and bad content for sale.

The dons believed that Akunyili was only poised to package a country of the “same old corrupt politician, fraudstars and election riggers, inherent with all manner of ills in the name of rebranding Nigerian”. Till date, it is still difficult to fly through any newspaper or magazine in Nigeria without seeing on issue related to then rebranding Nigeria project.

Even Jingles on the project are continuously aired during network news time in the broadcast media.

During the inauguration of image laundering campaign in April 2009, the minister professor Akunyili said it was a Nigeria project for Nigerians and that it would make no sense to take it abroad. But barely a month after the minister said Nigeria would rely on internal assistance to prosecute the project; she was soliciting the support of Britain for the success of the campaign. According to news Agency of Nigeria, professor Akunyili told the visiting British high commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Bob Dewar, that Nigeria was counting on Britain’s support in the rebranding journey.

she stated that “we know we are doing what is just and best for the generation unborn” (Odeshola 2009, wwwpunding.com/Article Aspx? theatric=Art 2009123285260) however, some Nigerians who are optimistic about the image laundering campaign have argued that the country has never been branded before. Aleloye (2009) observed that this is the first time Nigeria will be branding. Arguing further, he posits that it is a good start but cannot take Nigeria to its destination because the image of Nigeria has been marred over the years. he stated thus:

it is a fact that we have a lot of remarkable plus and minus; but out remarkable pluses have been sub-merged and buried first because we have failed to properly project them (Adeloye 2009)

Organizations have no choice, they must communicate.

Perception is an active process in which people use their senses of touch, sight, smell, lean or taste. According to morreale, spitzberg and Berge (2001, p.46) “any behavior, whether verbal or non-verbal, must make an impression if it is to communicate”. This behavior according to the authors” must be observed, interpreted, understood and evaluated through a process called perception”. That is the way one makes sense of the millions of information around him or her. The slogan “Good People, Great Nation” “Uplift the People and Unite the Nation” is a brand. It is a new brand in which the campaign is selling that by extension is the planned programme of action that is intended to serve both Nigerians and the Nigeria public interest.

Rebradning Nigeria campaign is not adding to Nigeria’s problems; rather it aims at solving them that is why Ewhearekuko (2009) believes that the campaign is a right step in the right direction for him the timely project is one of the many things that can be done to redeem Nigeria’s National image.

From the foregoing, it can be reduced that while the project has been subjected to a barrage of attacks in some quarters, other commentators are simple holding the view that a laudable such as rebranding, designed to propel the nation to a position of dignity among the comity of nations should be supported unequivocally by all and sundry.

It is against this background that this work intends to investigate Abakakliki resident’s perception of the rebranding Nigeria campaign with a view to ascertaining their attitudes towards the campaign.

PROJECT TOPIC- OPINION ON THE REBRANDING NIGERIA CAMPAIGN SPEARHEADED BY THE FEDERAL INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION  MINISTRY

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Nigeria campaign are often embarked upon with the primary aim of either directly or indirectly laundering the image of a given individual, association or organization the success of such image laundering exercise will ultimately depend on how the target public interprets understand or generally perceive the campaign theme.

The rebranding Nigeria image campaign launched   by the federal minister of information and communications recently appear to have divided opinions of its target publics academic, politicians and the entire citizenry while some think of the campaign to have arrived just in time, observation show that the other perceive the campaign to be an effort aimed at repackaging and selling the same old, bad product Nigeria.

          However in Abakaliki it is not known how residents perceive the rebranding project. Do Abakaliki publics hold a positive or negative perception of the campaign so far impacted on them in anyway.

This study becomes important because of the subject is neglected it may lead to negative/ faculty perceptions of Rebranding Nigeria Project.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study is to determine a Survey of Abakaliki Urban Residents’ Perception on the Rebranding Nigeria Campaign . However, the specific objectives include:

(1) To find out the level of awareness of Abakaliki public about the rebranding Nigeria campaign.

(2) To ascertain the media/ channels/ sources of Abakaliki publics knowledge of the rebranding campaign.

(3) To ascertain Abakaliki publics perception of the rebranding campaign

(4) To determine the impact of the rebranding Nigeria campaign on their behaviours.

1.4 Research Questions

From the background discussion made in this study, four research questions have been generated these include:

  1. What is the level of awareness of Abakaliki publics about the rebranding Nigeria campaign?
  2. What is the media/channel/ sources of Abakaliki publics knowledge of the rebranding campaign?
  3. What is Abakaliki publics perception of the rebranding campaign?
  4. What impact has the rebranding Nigeria campaign had done on their behaviour?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

Ho Abakaliki publics are aware about of the rebranding Nigeria campaign.

H1 Abakaliki publics are not aware about the rebranding Nigeria campaign.

Ho Rebranding Nigeria campaign has improved the performance of Abakaliki publics.

H1 Rebranding Nigeria campaign has not improved the performance of Abakaliki publics.

Ho Rebranding Nigeria campaign has impacted positively on the Abakaliki publics.

H1 Rebranding Nigeria campaign has not impacted positively on Abakaliki publics.

Ho Practical measures could be taken to enhance the efficiency of rebranding Nigeria campaign.

H1 Practical measures cannot be taken to enhance the efficiency of rebranding Nigeria campaign.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The following are the contributions of this study in terms of knowledge and benefits to the readers:

  1. It is instrument to the future researchers who will like to gain some knowledge from this work.
  2. It is important to the general society because it will help to correct misconconceptions about Rebranding Nigeria Project thereby improving the campaign towards it.
  3. It is instrumental to the ministry of information and communications because it enable them to grasp the essence of the media of the broadcast media.

Information is a social good, it derives society. Mboho (1990, p. 233) notes that without adequate information, dissemination to mobilize the people from within the rural areas, any long economic or social planning will either be much less effective than it could have or that it could even go in the wrong direction.

Therefore, effective information should be seen as indispensable in mobilizing the people towards the overall acceptance of a programme such as the rebranding Nigeria’s corporate image.

In particular the result of this study will be of huge benefit to the Ministry of information and communications. It may make the ministry understand the way Abakaliki residents perceive the campaign and by extension help in further strategizing their messages on other publics.

Also, this research might help Nigeria’s campaign experts to know if “Rebranding” is the proper strategy for enhancing the image of an organization or a country like Nigeria.

Aside from providing insights and issues surrounding the campaign, the study may assist future researchers who may take interest in the topic; the press and ultimately the public.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is limited to the Abakaliki urban. Due to this, the researcher chose people living or residing in Abakaliki metropolis as its respondents.

1.8 Definition of Terms

In the course of this research work use is made of various terms, which though English in context may not carry their connotations. In the light of this and in order to ensure quick and easy understanding of the work, effort is made here to define some of those conceptional and operational terms with their usage in the work..

Conceptional Definition

(1) Perception: The way one views or regard something and your beliefs about what it is like:

Perception is an active process in which we use our senses of touch, taste, sight, learning and smell to gather data about both our external environment and our internal experiences and subsequently try to make sense of these situations.

(2) Rebranding: Akunyili (Amanze 2010:11) broadly defined Rebranding as a systematic response to address our image problem. It is a planned systematic and sustained effort to reposition a nation’s image reputation in the minds of its various stakeholders.

(3) Campaign: Is a series of planned activities that are intended to achieve a particular social, commercial or political aim: an advertising campaign.

(4) Abakaliki: Is the capital city of the present day- Ebonyi State in South East Nigeria.

Operational Definition

(1) Perception: Is the ability to know, see and understand the true nature of the rebranding Nigeria campaign.

(2) Nigeria Campaign: Series of planned management programme aimed at establishing good and favourable relationship between Nigeria and international community.

(3) Rebranding: Is the planned communication programme that is designed to refurbish comity of nations.

(4) Abakaliki Residents: Adult male and females living in Abakaliki metropolis and are old enough to understand the nature of the rebranding Nigeria Campaign.

PROJECT TOPIC- OPINION ON THE REBRANDING NIGERIA CAMPAIGN SPEARHEADED BY THE FEDERAL INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION  MINISTRY

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