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RE- BRANDING NIGERIA systems are powerful agents of change and social re-orientation in the present globalized world. They not only instruct the citizenry on the ethical norms and values needed for societal change but also bring about changes capable of transforming the citizens. They are source of information to all and on a given society as well on how to promote societal building. They function as agent of social re-orientation and behavioural change. They are the ‘torch’ through which many of the citizenry see and the ‘mouth’ through which the politicians speak. They do not only enhance the legitimacy of societal norms but they also criticize the ills that crippled societal growth.
They promote the institutionalization of positive behaviour amongst the citizenry. They are central in the societal re-branding process. The push for national re-branding enters a country when there are numerous assumed un-ethical societal behaviours amongst the citizenry. There was the historic ‘failure’ of governance, lack of genuine patriotism, corruption in all places, insecurityin the Nigerian State. This made Ifeduba (2010:366) to argue that the nation’s weaknesses appear to globally outweigh the area of her strength.
Such negative behaviour begins to create a gradual wave for change that could be driven by the government or individuals. During the Obasanjo’s administration, the then Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr. Frank Nweke(Jnr.) ‘gave birth’ to the Heart of Africa Project, which collapsed because it concentrated its image making activities on only what Nigerians are doing abroad. This made Professor Dora Akunyili, the former Minister of Information and National Orientation to come-up with the re-branding Nigeria project in March, 2009. “The project came with a new logo and slogan-Good People; Great Nation” and is meant to launder Nigeria’s image; or prove that we
are not a nation of 140 million fraudsters and cheats” (Onumah, 2011:11). Her idea was to create in the consciousness of Nigerians both at home and abroad the need for change in their ways of doing things from negative to positive, as well as to enhance Nigerian national image abroad. Aregbeshola (2009) wrote that Professor Akunyili’s programme intends to start with raising a patriotic spirit in Nigerians at home by selling logo and slogan to them. “Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, who represented the president at the launch, described the campaign as a genuine attempt to reorientate Nigeria towards believing in themselves once again” (Onumah, 2011:11). The re-branding Nigeria campaign as positive as it was met much societal criticism and resentment because it came at a time Nigerians have much apathy for the government, especially in an era that was characterized with politics about failed state; whether Nigeria was already a failed state or not (in 2009). Akunyili (2010:27) stated that “if nothing at all, the seed of re-branding has sparked debates, dialogues and seminars which have contributed in one way or another to the advancement of the cause”. One of the pessimistic opponents to the re-branding project articulated his thought thus:

Isn’t this another gimmick to steal money?
What does she want to re-brand?
Is it re-branding Nigeria needs now?
Is Nigeria even a brand?
She just loves publicity and this project will give her plenty.
She is a trouble maker.
We are too hungry for this nonsense.
We have bigger problems.
In fact, Nigeria is too far gone in her corrupt ways for Akunyili to do
anything about it.
Does she think she’s still in NAFDAC?
It won’t work!
She can make all the noise she wants but this won’t work
(Quoted in Egbemode, 2009:56)

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