Anambra State under Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo has been turned into a marketing peach.
This declaration was made by Commissioner for Information, Sir Paul Nwosu, in a Keynote Address at the 2022 Symposium of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Anambra State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)in Awka yesterday.
He said the state is well-positioned geographically, intellectually and commercially to serve as a veritable centre of marketing attraction in Nigeria.
In his address entitled, “The Imperative of Traditional Media in Marketing State Policies: Anambra State as a Case Study”, Sir Paul Nwosu stresses that with the traditional media presence in the Anambra State, marketing governmental policies uplifts the Marshall McLuhan dictum: “The medium is the message.”
According to Sir Nwosu, the Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo administration is supremely charged with the policy of disruptive change that engages the media positively because there are definitely new ways of doing things in Anambra State such that the media cannot let up in keeping pace with the march of change.
Nwosu recalled that Governor Soludo announced on the day of his swearing-in ceremony that he would swing to work immediately by undertaking a clearing visit of the Okpoko slum in the suburb of Onitsha, and the state has been swung into the limelight of media attention.
“The policy of urban regeneration is a marketing staple that the media amply embraced. The cities are decaying all over the world, and the global media cannot but put it on the front burner. This is being replicated in Anambra State where regenerating the urban areas entails land redevelopment, clearing the slums, revving up the inner cities, and generally creating opportunities for healthier living, housing and business.”
He pointed out that Governor Soludo has taken in a bold stride the rebirth and regeneration of the Anambra urban areas, stressing: “Mr. Governor holds forth the belief that urban renewal and regeneration are keys to achieving a liveable, prosperous, and smart megacity which is the major agenda of his administration and manifesto.”
He stated that a section of the media that vainly struggled to put Anambra State in bad light by pitching Governor Soludo against a presidential candidate that comes from the state is bad marketing. To cause Anambra State to roil and boil will put her in the news for the wrong reasons. It will give us a bad image as uncivilized people who are intolerant of one another’s views.
Incidentally, Governor Soludo and the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi were seen embracing each other at the 70th birthday event of the Catholic Bishop of Awka, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, in St. Patrick’s Cathedral Awka.
Nwosu charged the media to key into the relevant governmental policies especially as almost all sections of the state have been turned into road construction sites as many roads have been flagged off for construction, re-construction and rehabilitation by Governor Soludo.
Commissioner Nwosu informed the audience that there have been misrepresentations in sections of the media over the government’s tax policy which is the adopted mainstay for growing the state economy in the new dispensation. He cited an example thus: “For instance, there was a time it was falsely reported that the state government was billing a cool N100,000 for a burial banner! Meanwhile, that was the amount charged for erecting a billboard.
He jocularly quoted the Irish playwright and poet Oscar Wilde who wrote, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
For Nwosu, it is cool to market Anambra as a state where there is zero tolerance for touting, as he said: “All the touts (agboros) who used to collect and put government revenue in their pockets have been have sent packing. But it is even cooler to market the fact that they were not left to their fate and devices. Government gave them the option of registering their names with their local governments so that they would be provided alternative means of livelihoods.
Waste management is having a new lease of life. Impunity is being punished. In all, the traditional media has its hands full in marketing the positively disruptive policies taking shape under Governor Soludo in Anambra State.”
“It’s not business as usual in Anambra State,” Sir Nwosu said, adding: “For me, what is most admirable in Anambra State is the new lease of life being given to the practice of democracy. Structures are being put in place to ensure that the rule of law is the sine qua non of governance in Anambra State. The media owes it as a duty to its profound objectives as the acclaimed Fourth Estate of the Realm to buy into the new regimen of democracy and rule of law in Anambra State. Partisanship on the part of the press can only lead to the withdrawal of support by the public. A press that cannot be trusted is hardly worth its name. Issues of public interest ought to be given pride of place in an objective manner. Balance should be the operative word in attending to reporting.”
He concluded thusly: “The Anambra way is a standpoint for best practices. In marketing the policies of Anambra State there is no room for cutting corners. The media must not confuse news for advertorials. The vain politicians can easily exploit the naivety of inexperienced reporters and sundry broadcasters in the drive to get their biases into the media as news. The advertorials must be seen for what they truly are and must be paid for.”