When will the President stop damaging Nigeria’s image? By Teinye Akobo

By Post Nigeria November 6, 2015 12:36

When will the President stop damaging Nigeria’s image? By Teinye Akobo

Every sales pitch must place emphasis on strength, highlight potentials and explain challenges. This technique is true of many methods of promotions as it pertains to the product or brand so promoted. Whether it is goods, services or in this case, country, these simple tenets of marketing ring true.

Days ago we saw our President head to India on a trade mission between the Asian nation & African nations. While there, the basic expectation was that he would go and sell our nation to serious investors willing and capable to invest into the Nigerian economy. However, he went there again with his normal Nigeria bashing epistle-amplifying the worst of us, and simplifying the best in us- our people.

President Muhammadu Buhari has been in power now for well over five months with little or nothing to show for the many promises he made to us as Nigerians upon taking office. He goes around, accusing some, and making excuses for his sluggish management of our nation just as we slip slowly into economic uncertainty and anxiety. He further compounded his oblivion of his duties by stating to foreign press“any investor who is interested in investing in Nigeria will seem to know more about the economy more than ourselves. So when I come and tell the truth about the position of the economy of the country, I am going out looking for investors.”

While the President is right that investors do a lot of background research, to opine that an investor will know more than our President strikes me as indicative of his banality. That statement is capable of scaring away even the most gullible investor. He defended his bland rationale by saying “I am confirming to them that we are truthful, that we need them to come and help us help ourselves by getting in industries, manufacturing and services. They know our needs. The economy of human resources, I believe, will make them come eventually and help us.”

While the President is right that our strength is our human resource, his display of confidence in this is lacking. It is most factual from history that economic growth always starts from empowering citizens by giving them both the space and spade to succeed, and not by derisively casting aspersions on their potentials. It is the job of our leaders to uplift the spirit of the nation, and not to continue placing a cold blanket over our collective will to rise above the decay, they, our leaders have placed upon us.

This can be done with a very clear fiscal policy that empowers and strengthens the very core of our socio-economic endeavors. By mere running around the globe screaming Nigeria is broke, the President is not serving both his intentions and our expectations. This government needs to start looking for creative ways to downsize government, freeing up revenue for capital projects and supporting local investors that labor hard to place our ingenuity on the global map.

It is when local investors are making inroads into new sectors that many investors will seek easy means of entry mostly through joint ventures or partnership. Greenfield investments in these day and age are almost utopian as corporations seek to reduce costs of entry and establishment. In so doing, many investors look out for green light of seriousness and not affectations of worthiness passed across by nation bashing in the name of sincerity.

Maybe it is time for us to inform our President that instead of telling the world about how bad our economy and country is, he should tell us about his plans to revamp the economy and the country. He needs to know that in order to create jobs and build industries, introspective engagement with local investors maybe more rewarding than this futile attempt to woo foreigners.

Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan all did these and nothing has benefited the Nigerian economy more than when our local investors have thrived. We must begin to build our future by empowering local investors and improving our human capital. This has remained true that local investors are the key to penetrating foreign markets and investors, bolstering both national interest and security.

So, for the sake of our economy, let us begin to look inward and start selling the best in us rather than continue this deleterious inclination of marketing our worse. Such acts are hardly patriotic or pragmatic; they are merely an exercise in self-esteem. So the next time the president feels the need to prognosticate on Nigeria, he should try to lead, and not try out excuses.