Renowned Public Relations practitioner and former President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Mr Maxi Mike Okereke, has attributed the country’s present poor image ratings to the barrage of criticisms daily heaped on the country by Nigerians themselves.
Making this observation at the public presentation of the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual global trust and credibility survey, in Lagos, the former NIPR boss stated that no nation could develop, if its citizens continue to harp on its weaknesses rather its strengths.
Okereke argued that while the average Nigerian would always use every available opportunity to run down the country, utterances of the nation’s leaders, in their fight against corruption had also not done the country’s image any good; but rather continued to diminish the status of the country and its citizens before the outside world.
“While it is good that the war against corruption is being fought by this present government, I think tarring every Nigerian with that brush of corruption would, also, not in any way help the image of the country, but rather diminish it.
“The fact remains that we still have many Nigerians who make their living through honest means. It is only a negligible few that are corrupt. 90 per cent of Nigerians are very good. But when you give the world out there the impression that the average Nigerian is corrupt, how do you want them to respect us? Definitely no investor would want to come and risk plying his trade in an environment riddled with corruption.
“Besides I think the average Nigerian, too, is rather critical about the country. They criticise every thing. They don’t see anything good in this country and they use every available space to vent their anger. We are too critical of ourselves. We have our strength and our weaknesses,” the renowned PR practitioner argued.
While lauding Chain Reactions for launching the annual global trust survey in Nigeria for the first time, Okereke, however, called on the nation’s PR practitioners to take up the responsibility of re-marketing and re-positioning the country in order to enhance its brand equity.
In his remarks at the launch the, Managing Director and Chief Strategist, Chain Reactions Nigeria, Mr Israel Jaiye Opayemi, noted that trust had become very critical to the survival of institutions, such as government, the media, non-governmental organisations and even businesses.
He expressed the hope that with the launch of the survey, the agency would be able to develop a trust barometer for the society, in government, media, businesses and non-governmental organisations.
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