The president of the Nigerian Institute of public relations, NIPR, Dr. Rotimi Oladele has tasked Nigerian government to emphasise the need for policy marketing if the country is to harness its human and natural resources development.
Oladele who spoke during the Brand Campaign Magazine’s 5th anniversary lecture in Lagos recently said successive Nigerian governments did not put in place the right policies.
Speaking on the theme “Leadership, Policy Marketing and Repositioning of the Nigerian Nation, Oladele who is also the Managing Director of Megavons (West Africa) Limited, a printing and publishing firm, said Nigeria is a fertile ground for ‘unbaked’ policy, ‘disorganised’ policy, ‘rotten’ policy, and so on, such that people cannot lay hands on what it is that is a Nigerian policy on virtually any issue. “The issue of policy marketing is totally neglected as far as policy is concerned”, he said.
Likening national policy to a well fenced garden to prevent intruders from unworthy harvesters to buttress how and why national policies should be cultivated, nurtured and guarded to produce good treasures for development, he said if the garden is not protected sheep will come, goat will come and all manners of intruders to harvest from it, noting that it is exactly what is happening with policy making marketing in Nigeria.
He said development is anchored on the rectangle of policy, law, regulation and infrastructure. “Once these are put in place, you do not need to preach to anybody to know what to do and when to do what is is right.
He lamented that currently our policy does not allow the nation to grow. “Good policies ensure that manufacturing companies are located at the source of raw materials, and even the locations of strategic agencies are where they will be optimally effective.
He therefore charged leaders on the need to rethink our policies and also on the followers to have change of mindsets.
On leadership, the onetime Managing Director of Nigerian Tribune says you cannot remove leadership from followership. He defined a leader as someone who gives direction and someone who services, he said the two roles can never be played without followership, noting that followership role is causative.
“If it does not happen, leadership cannot happen. It is the feedback from the followers that give direction to the leader on what he should do. There is no leader who will act on his own; he must get feedback from the followers”.
Oladele stressed that service should be out of the expectation of the followers.
“Service not made out of the expectation of the followers is wasted. That is what always happens in Nigeria’s situation. If there is no feedback from the followers then the leadership cannot be true and original. And if you look at the manifestos of your political representatives they are never a reflection of the needs of the people.
Alluding to the didactic theory of social relationships, he said relationship between the followers and the leaders is a reciprocal one.
“A mutual benefit must exist between the two and that is when followers will be loyal; and that is when the leaders will be free to walk among the followers. Translating that to Nigeria, how many of your representatives are free to walk on the streets among their people today? How many governors can walk in the market place here?” He queried.
One of the panelists, the Managing Director of Brandish magazine, Ikem Okuhu noted that the lecture awakened in Nigerians the need to begin to think, especially if we consider the shallow educational policy in the mid seventies, which ensured that secondary school failures became the bedrocks of teacher education.
He aligned with Oladele’s submission and noted that Nigeria education have not recovered from policy misadventure.
While he agreed that followership was a major challenge, Ikem believes Nigeria still has an axe to grind with leadership, which he said unfortunately manifest in virtually every facet of Nigerian life.
He lamented that Nigerians have endured for too long bad leadership and therefore urged every Nigerian to rethink and have change of heart towards building a better Nigeria.
Another panelist, the Managing Director of Marketing Mix Limited, Akin Adeoya also cautioned Nigerians to beware of the lifestyle of whoever we want to choose as our leader, stressing that those who create value for the little they have should be preferred against those who are profligate in their lifestyle but add nothing to improve the lives of other citizens, instead, spend what is meant for the common man.
On repositioning, he emphasized the position earlier advocated by Oladele who sees repositioning from an engineer’s point of view, taking the malfunctioning parts separately for a proper diagnosis and repair for it to form a new rebranded product. He recommended that Nigeria is in dire need of such surgical repositioning.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion and publisher of Healthcare Magazine, Dr. Bola Olaosebikan, while commending Akinwumi Dickson for five years of blazing magazine publishing also warned of its perils but prayed for continued determination to excel in challenging times as we are in Nigeria.
Olaosebikan while looking at the media industry lamented how distressed the media and journalism profession have become in Nigeria in recent times.
He therefore called on Nigerian publishers to set up an endowment fund for the media while also calling on the Federal Ministry of Information to set up a media fund to bail out distressed media organizations such as what government did for the aviation industry and other sectors of the economy. “The purpose of the trust fund is to prevent distress and help the sector maintains its human resources from losing their jobs.”
Olaosebikan who was a onetime Commissioner for Health in Kwara State also appealed to publishers to improve on the training of journalists, adding the age of the new media makes one thing imperative- training and acquiring of new skills.
Besides, the Health Magazine publisher advocates for a university of journalism or a Communication University.
“The media is so vast and therefore the university will have a very rich faculty.”
In his welcome address, publisher of Brand Campaign, Akinwumi Dickson described the birth of the magazine as a child of circumstance that grew to become one of the leading brand magazines in the industry.
He however pointed out that the anniversary’s theme “Leadership, Policy Marketing and Repositioning of the Nigerian Nation” was informed by the change the country is going through and the need for marketing communications professionals to drive it through advocacy for good leadership and policy positioning.
At the occasion, awards were given to corporate brands and individuals in various categories. The awardees are First Bank of Nigeria (Financial Institutions), MTN Nigeria(Telecommunications), DDB Lagos(Creative Advertising), Starcom Media Services (Media Buying), Oracle Agency(Experiential Marketing), Linkpoint Resources International Limited (Consumer Brand Activation), Brooks and Blake (Reputation Management), New Crystal Communications Limited (Outdoor Advertising) and Goddie Ofose (Brand Journalism).