Industrialist Urges Nigerians to be Culture Ambassadors as “Pitch” Unveils
The President, Fertilizer Producers Association of Nigeria, Mr Thomas Etuh has hinged the economic survival and growth of the country on how strong the citizens are willing to be culture ambassadors and change agents, insisting same should be the major anchor for any potentially successful nation marketing effort and project.
Etuh who spoke at the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Lagos recently at the public presentation of a book; PITCH: Debunking Marketing’s Strongest Myths, authored by brand analyst, Ikem Okuhu warned that the country may not achieve much at the various platforms of global exchange if the citizens do not make themselves available as ambassadors of everything the country stands for.
Represented at the event by a former National Chairmanship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barrister Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Etuh, who is also the Chairman, Tak Agro Plc, described Nigerian writers as flag carriers, whose works go a long way in moulding the perception the world outside has of Nigeria.
“Writers, be they of fiction or management, are agents of culture and nationalism. Their reflections of the country in their books form the pictures and impressions that readers, especially in other climes have about our dear country,” he stated.
He said, contrary to widely held beliefs, Nigerians are still avid readers of books and called on those gifted with the skills of writing to continue to document events, trends and stories around them as a means of preserving the history and heritage of the Nigerian people as culture ambassadors.
Also at the event, Vice President, Corporate Communications and CSR, Airtel Nigeria described the book as “table-shaking”, alluding that the author’s track record as a journalist that approaches issues usually from a different perspective may have helped in shaping a book he was sure would stir a lot of debate in the Nigerian marketing and communications industry.
Oparah, who went down memory lane in recalling previous encounters with the author and expressed delight that the fearless journalist in him has guided him to put together a book that will instigate further interrogation of a number of issues in the Nigerian marketing and communications environment.
“I recalled my first encounter with the author. I have been an avid reader of Ikem’s column on Marketing Communication, especially when it was a pull-out in the Vanguard newspapers well before he went solo. He was different, refreshing and cheeky with a somewhat diabolical sense of humor. It appeared he saw things differently all the time-judging by the way he reported events-which were also attended and reported by other journalists. I thought he enjoyed controversy. It didn’t matter so much until he did a number on Airtel,” he said.
While recommending the book for both practitioners and intending practitioners and students of marketing and communications, he commended the author for raising some critical issues in many areas while at the same time, proffering solutions rather than just complain.
Earlier in his welcome address, the author, Ikem Okuhu, said that in writing the book, he was inspired by the paucity of engaging literature with particular focus on the Nigerian environment despite the compelling accomplishments of practitioners in the country.
Okuhu, who is also the publisher of BRANDish, a marketing and communications magazine, highlighted the importance of knowledge sharing by players in the marketing and communications industry, insisting that Nigerian case studies are like export items that will help the world understand the Nigerian consumer better.
He thanked the Nigerian Advertising, Public Relations and the wider marketing community for providing the rich resources that helped in framing his research efforts and invited practitioners as culture ambassadors to document their experiences for posterity.