Creative Industry And The Nigeria At 60 Anniversary
By Tunji Faleye
The recent pronouncement by the Federal Government challenging the creative industry to participate in the creative contest in poetry, photography and Logo design for the 60th Independent Anniversary celebration on October 1 is a welcome development. This has shown that government is beginning to realize its past mistakes of not incorporating the creative industry into the scheme of things over the years.
The incorporation of the creative industry this time round will enable government to get the best ideas that will perfectly suit the nation’s quest for strong brand positioning as it marks its Diamond independent celebrations in a contest which the Federal Government has offered N 5.5 million in prizes for winning ideas in the identified areas.
The thematic and creative aspect of the event would be designed by Nigerians for Nigeria focusing on the proposed theme “Together at 60.”
As a result of this, Nigerians are urged to participate in the challenge as well as vote for the best brand through the challenge portal https:/Nigeria@60.gov.ng.
Recalled Dr. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy who is also the Chairman, Diamond, Innovation Change Sub-Committee, Nigeria @ 60 Inter-Ministerial Committee announced during the weekend the entries which will close on September 15th. The winning entries will be rewarded with N3million, First runner up N 1.5 million and the second runner-up N1million.
Since Nigeria got her independence on October 1 1960 from the colonial master, Britain after several years of colonial rule occasioned by the scramble and partition of Berlin Conference of 1884, also known as Congo Conference, the country has been celebrating the achievement of her independence every October 1. But in recent years, the independent anniversary has been celebrated in low key considering insecurity and the state of the economy. Interestingly, this year’s anniversary will be a departure from that and government is making every preparation to roll out the drum in line with Covid-19 protocols and guidelines when the country clocks 60 on October 1 2020.
In preparation for the anniversary celebration this year, it is expected that government will not neglect the Integrated Marketing Communications industry as successive governments had done. Year in year out, the IMC industry has been left aloof from the government’s programmes, hence, leading to failure of successive administrations to communicate their programmes to the citizenry and project the image of the country positively to the outside world.
While it is a known fact that both creative and communication professionals in the country have the wherewithal to handle government’s initiatives as regards to communication and the strategies to project government in good light, it is also advisable for people in authority to do the needful by carrying professionals in the industry along.
Unfortunately, what different administrations have been doing over the years was to hire communication experts from other climes, most especially, Europe and United States, failing to realize that the indigenous public relations agencies, advertising agencies and other sectors in the IMC industry can do better than their foreign counterparts, because of their understanding of the country, the people and the political structure, making them better positioned to handle any brief from both the federal and the state governments.
This continual neglect of the nation’s communications professionals by the government made practitioners to frown at the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for contracting a top US lobbyist, Brian Balland for $90,000 (N31.5 million) per month, as communications consultants for the party’s 2019 election communication services.
It will also be recalled that practitioners berated APC in 2015 after the party engaged AKPD Message and Media, a United States-based public relations and public affairs consultancy firm which is co-founded by Mr. David Axelrod, ex-President Barack Obama’s campaign strategist and a former White House Advisor. Sadly, despite criticism that followed that action in 2015, the party still engaged a foreign PR agency preferably from either The United States or South Africa for 2019 elections. Enough is enough! All these hiring of foreign PR, AD agencies, Experiential agencies and others should be a thing of the past.
While we welcome government’s decision to incorporate creative industry in the 60th independent anniversary celebration, there is need to assign different roles to communication industry – experiential, creative, Out-of-Home Public relations and media independent for a successful celebration.