‘Policy Marketing, Vital for National Development’

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Raheem Akingbolu

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, 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”, the NIPR boss said Nigeria is a fertile ground for ‘unbaked’ policy, ‘disorganised’ policy, and ‘rotten’ policy, adding that 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.

According to him, 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 right.

He expressed worry that currently, Nigeria 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 said.

He therefore charged leaders on the need to rethink our policies and also on the followers to have change of mindsets.

On leadership, Oladele said one cannot remove leadership from followership. He defined a leader as someone who gives direction and someone who services, stating that the two roles can never be played without followership, noting that followership role are 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?”