1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Nigeria is one of the famous and great countries that is surrounded with an extremely large number of problem
This ugly situation had
created a bridge in their relationship with other countries. In addition
to over the problems of political instability inflation, unemployment,
immorality and wide spread corruption, there is still the issue of
Nigeria’s unfavorable image both internally and externally.
Therefore, the good moral
disposition of any citizen of a country proves the image of that country
thus Charles Okigbo (1986) maintains that the image of a nation arises
from its actions, utterances position, polices and media coverage.
In discussing Nigeria’s image
abroad, the three tiers of government and the entire citizens of the
country were borne in mind. To achieve this set of objectives, we
should, look at historical survey of what may be considered as Nigeria’s
image in the eyes of both the national and international communities
1.2 HISTORICAL SURVEY
The colonial era bought about political
domination, economic exploitation, social discrimination and religious
indoctrination which gave.
Nigeria the image of a potentially rich,
exploitable dependable with an insatiable taste for foreign culture
education dress and food then came the days of nationalism, which
averted Nigeria’s to the possibilities of political freedom with all its
Nationalist movement shocked the
imperial authorities who regarded it as impendent and ingratitude that
frightened those Nigerians who believed that the nationalist had lost
their head. The image projected during the days of the fight from
freedom was that people who knew what they wanted are determined to
achieve their objectives. This explained why such leaders as Dr. Nnamdi
Azikiwe, chief Obafemi Awolow, Mallam amino Kano, Mazi Mbonu Ojike and
others were the objects of hero worship t a scale unknown before.
The nationalist struggle which led to attainment of political independence nation placed on the threshold of development.
This was immediately followed by the first republic with all the hopes it inspired.
But was it was characterized by failures and mistakes catalogued by Dennis Osadebay in his book “building the nation”
He accused the country’s leadership of tribal and regional intolerance unwillingness to observe political party discipline.
The flamboyant life – style nurtured and
nourished by bribery and corruption and painlessness’. The fist mittary
interregnum which initially raised the peoples hope and aspirations was
later characterized by tribal and prejudices and bitterness which led
to wide scale mass killings and antagonism and ended in painful civic
war which nearly tore Nigeria report.
The image created could be summed up as susceptible to the temptations of corruption and graft as the politician.
The image of the country they left
behind was one of thrift and chaos, which put in other words simply
meaning, “we do not know what we want”.
Speaking on the wrong doing of the
former regime, of General Murtala Mohammed who emerged as the leader of
the third head said that event of the part, despite our human and
material resources was in bad and chaotic shape.
This showed that government has not been able to fulfill the legitimate expectations of the people.
Nigeria had continued to drift it must
be cleared to all concerning that the indiscipline in our national life
is a symptom of services malaise at all levels of government.
The time has come when we should make it
clear that we can decide for ourselves, that we know our interest and
how to protect that interest.
This is an excerpts from the policy
formulated by a corrective regime. This policy accounted for its
popularity. This policy continued to be dutifully implemented by the
Obasanjo’s regime following the unfortunate assassination of General
murtala Mohammed on 13th February 1976.
The regime which witnessed the cleaning
of the public services, the setting up of new goals and effective
tackling of many of the drastic problems facing the country created the
image of a nation back on the path of sanity and heading in the right
The many charges against the regime included political brigandry, bribery and corruption, and economic mismanagement.
The regime created for the country an unfavorable image.
In an article entitled “the and of an” a columnist in the new swatch of markers of second republic as “law breakers”.
The late Dele Giwa put it more
succinctly when writing under the heading “death of innocence” said,
that it had brought with the death of follow whip.
Deception had become the new
order, stealing is no big deal almost every one had turned to a thief
you can hardly have anything done without some one expecting you to
bribe him and everyone discusses it openly”
Then followed by the
Babanigida’s Administration with it far reaching policies on structural
adjustment, mass transportation, rural development, better life
programme, privatization and commercialization of government owned
companies. On several occasions when he was speaking to different
groups, he made the following pertinent remarks.
For too often I have talked in
the past, of a new nation while continue to burn, leaving big scars on
our image as a people”
At home it encountered
industry, promoted merit, cracy and mapped out a clear cut policy of
transition to civilian rule which is being implemented faithfully
through various organs such as the national electoral commission (NEC).
The smooth transition programme which has being dutifully followed came
to a hall with the annulment of June 12 presidential election won by
chief moshud Abiola amidst this explosive political situation emerged
the interim in national government (ING) headed by Enerst Shenekam which
was later toppled by the Abacha Junta. It was in the wake of this
confusion following the annulment of June 12 presidential election that
chief moshood Abiola was arrested and detained by the abacha junta for
proclaiming himself president of Nigeria- an offence regarded by general
Sani abacha’s military tribunal as “treasonable felony” in his
broadcast to the nation on October 1,995, general Sani Abacha announced a
new transition time – table which was to terminate on October 1st 1998 with the swearing – in of a new civilian president who will be elected under a mult – party system.
The story still remains the same political instability.
However, the image projected as that
despite tremendous odds, economic, political and social, the country is
back on the rails and that is a nations, we know where we are going and
what is good for us.
There are obvious doubts
sceptiasm and trepidation of heart as to what the future hold for the
country as it March es on towards the fourth republic .
The question being asked is whether the new breed of politicians will let the country down again, in other words /
“Will we fail yet again” for
this reason, it is necessary to recount what will be considered as
Nigeria’s image from three major angles, namely: political economic, and
Nigeria’s political history since independence in 1960 had always remain instable despite the military interventions
This contravenes the word – wide campaign for the establishment of democratic government in all countries.
In Nigeria today, democracy is
an illusion. There is no election without rigging even when citizens
must have voted for their own choice. And go contrary to people’s will
paramount. Through the barrel of the gun and advantage of incumbency,
the military government undermine the will of the electorate and have
continued to sacrifice the corporate image of the country on the alter
of egocentrism and ethnocentrism.
The effect of this act on the image of Nigeria is undoubtedly catastrophic.
The activities of those
military government attract contempt, spite and scorn from other
countries that are democratic. The encounter with FiFA over Nigeria’s
bid to host the 1995 youth soccer championship a case in point
Also, the economic sector
suffer as a result of obnoxious economic polices being adopted by those
ill informed military boys” foreign investments are discourage and
foreign aids in the areas of education, health , science and technology
are either reduced or totally withdrawn. World bodies like united nation
organization and others give little or no assistance to Nigeria. These
reactions from the international bodies are products of the foreign
government perception of Nigeria aversion of democratic process.
On the international scene Nigeria is seen as operating a highly hypocritical foreign policy.
Nigeria parades herself as the
“giant of Africa” an as such continues to meddle in the internal
affairs of other Africa countries.
The role played by IBB’s ECOMOG troop in Liberia is a thing to remember.
In like manner, Nigeria
continue to have boarder dashes with neighboring countries. However,
political hostility and outright violence as it Nigeria image abroad is
far being favourable.
The Nigerian economic is poor. This does
not imply that Nigeria had a bad economic policy, rather the problem
lies with the implementation of this policy.
Policies meant to revive the nations economy in the part include operation’s feed the nation (OFN) structural
Adjustment programme (SAP) the
green revolution, national drug law enforcement agency (NDLEA) family
support programme (FSP) and so on.
Some have failed, if not all.
These economic polices were well intended but the possibility of their
failing was not envisaged by the planners.
The international community
now sees Nigeria as a nation without any economic direction and
therefore unsafe for any investment.
The nation “economic image” is
nothing to discuss about. The suspension of Nigeria membership from the
common wealth further dwindled the country’s image abroad.
This is the crux of the matter. The
moral disposition and activities of our students and businessmen abroad
have left a stain on the country’s image.
Chidi Amafili (in Nwosu, 1990: 249)
Sam if up in these words.
Either you are branded a drug peddler or a gum runner, or an Aids
carrier, an Inferior materials supplier or you falsely documents or you
“bootleg” that is piracy in records cassettes, books or you are just a
plain chef. Nigeria citizens have been humiliated at our parts and
immigration checks overseas”
Over students abroad are not
left out. They perform all sorts of tricks and as part of Nigeria’s
foreign policy, it as only being practiced according to the dictate of
the government in power. It is pertinent to note that Nigeria foreign
policy in Namibia, Israel and Egypt is good. After considering all these
facts one might that it will just to succeed, leaving a traul of faith
on their countries image”
These are purely the public relations problems.
Apart from the dubious activities of
these Nigeria students and international businessmen, Nigeria government
has institutionalized corruption. Embezzlement and others vices now
become the order of the day.
Nigeria’s image abroad is panted by all citizens and whatever may be their status or occupation in life.
These include government
representatives who formulate polices, the soldier whose duty it is to
defend the country, the policemen who maintain land and order, the
judicial officers who administer justice, the immigration and custom
officials who deal with foreigners visiting or leaving the country, the
businessmen, traders who export, import or deal with foreigners and
students who should serve as beacons of light.
Nigerian who travel to other
countries as the representatives, farmers who produce food for feeding
the nation and for export, and indeed all others who sever in one
capacity or another have created a battered image of Nigeria outside her
own shore. Something has to be done by both government and individual
to correct this image.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Inadequate information dissemination distorts perception of the image of reality.
It follows that despite a nation’s
actions, peoples perception of information on what said about either by
others or by its own people the public relations determines mental
pictures, however good deed attract favourable media coverage and
consequently a favourable image.
Attention of government have been drawn to the type of their countries portray in recent years.
The importance of having a favourable
image lies in Rober Dervis (1970) assertions that a desired image can be
of greater use then a significant increment in military and economic
An undesired image can involve
cost for which no amounts of the usual kinds of power can compensate
and be handicap almost impossible to conquer”.
This is especially so in our interdependent world where, according to karl Deutzch and Richard Meritt (1987).
Foreign decision makers and
diplomats usually carry in their memories aspects which inform their
polices towards other nations”.
It is the light of these facts
that the social responsibility theory of mass communication in relation
to the public relations practice was chosen to guide the cause of this
study. The theory according to Dr Femi Senaike (quoted in M.A Ogunsiyi,
1989:144) posts that the power and near monopoly position of the media
impose on them an obligation to be socially responsible, to see than all
sides are fairly represented and that the public relations has enough
information decide. And this premises as asserted by Ikechukwu E.Nwosu
and Idemili S.O (1992) revealed the public relations is not a window –
dressing or white washing or cover – up practice for management and
government or individual. Such cover up or white washing hardly work and
mores very in their effect as they are sooner than later discovered for
what they are by their target public?
The basic principle underlying
he social responsibility theory as it relate to the public relations
practice is that of individual. Institution & like government or
organizations should think in such globally accepted manner.
This must have caught the
fancy of Ikechukwu E.nwosu and S.O Idemifi when they stated that the
public relations is working and guided by the public interest
consideration or being socially responsible I order to be socially
1.7 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
An important factor admired by all
government is the good image of its country in the comity of nations
government, therefore, try to monitor the activities actions of her
citizens and her policies as these will determine the media coverage the
To build a favourable image,
efforts must be made to exhibit acceptable norms and value or behaviour
the problem passed in these study is how to use the public relations to
build a favourable image for Nigerian from her current image?
1.8 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study attempts to answer the following questions.
v What contributed to the public relations
v What is Nigeria’s image abroad like?
v What effort does the Nigerian government making to correct this image?
v What the public relations tools and techniques can be employed to correct the image
v How can Nigerian help the government in rectifying the country’s present image?
1.9 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is
to find the position or place of the public relations in reconstructing
Nigeria’s battered image abroad. It also seeks to suggest some to the
public relations techniques that can be used to reconstruct that
country’s image aboard.
This study, therefore, aims at
acquainting nigerias with the desirable mode of construct capable of
boosting the nations image abroad. This intended to achieve through an
elaborate discussion of the place of the public relations in the course
of building and sustains good image for Nigeria.
1.10 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Hi: the Nigeria image abroad is favourable
Ho: the Nigeria image abroad is not favourable
H2: the attitude of the citizens contributes to such an image.
Ho: the attitude of the citizens do not contribute to such image
H3: the Nigerian government is making frantic efforts to correct the battered image
Ho: the Nigerian government is not making frantic efforts to correct the battered image.
H4: the public relations can be used in the resolution of Nigeria’s image problem
Ho: the public relations cannot be used in the resolution of Nigeria’s image problem.
1.11 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The basic concept that will continue to
re – occur in this study is the image public reactions and
reconstruction. These terms will be defined in their conceptual and
Conceptual – the impression held by the general public about Nigeria.
Operational the impression held by other countries about Nigeria.
Conceptual – the establishment of two –
way communication to resolve conflict of interest understanding based on
truth, knowledge and full information.
Operational – the establishment if two – way communication between Nigeria and other nations to ensure a positive image.