Positioning Delta State, Nigeria for economic growth

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With relative peace, abundant resources and promises of infrastructure development, Delta state is an investor’s haven.

However, to reach the desired economic El Dorado and to place the state in a good position to realize Vision 2020 as envisioned by the Federal Government, it has to do more, after all, it is only one of the many states in the country that seek improved business activities and investment.

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Positioning Delta State, Nigeria for economic growth

  1. 1. *POSITIONING DELTA STATE, NIGERIA FOR ECONOMIC GROWTHBRAND DELTA: With relative peace, abundant resources and promises ofinfrastructure development, Delta state is an investor’s haven. However,to reach the desired economic El Dorado and to place the state in a goodposition to realize Vision 2020 as envisioned by the Federal Government,it has to do more, after all, it is only one of the many states in thecountry that seek improved business activities and investment.Like Delta State, other states are constantly on road shows, doing allthey can to direct the lean foreign investment coming to Nigeria to theirstates. Moreover, as a consequence of militancy and youth restiveness,Delta State like most states in the Niger Delta has to do more toencourage investors. It has also become increasingly Herculean to lurelocal businesses to certain locations in the country, including DeltaState. To this end, a lot of hard selling is required to move the state fromwhere it is to where it should be.Place branding creates value for a city, region or country by aligning themessages that the place already sends out, in accordance with apowerful and distinctive strategic vision; by unlocking the talent of thepeople who live there and stimulating investment to reinforce and fulfilthis vision; and by creating new, powerful and cost-effective ways to givethe place a more effective and memorable voice and enhance itsreputation.Rwanda government was able to achieve this feat for its country throughrelationship building with wealthy and powerful individuals from acrossthe World. Rwanda has no oil and few minerals, but it does have oneabundant asset: well placed friends. This unpaid business savvy teammarkets the brand called Rwanda. Just as the Asian Tigers arose asexport-led middle income economies in the 20th century, Rwanda wantsto become the African Gorilla in the 21st century in spite of the wars thatravaged the country.
  2. 2. Take another instance, Botswana. It currently has one of the mostdynamic economies in all of Africa. It struck rich in diamonds in the1970s and invested it in education, health care, housing andinfrastructure. Botswana is politically stable has a well-educated andskilled workforce and corruption is low. But the world did not take noticeof this small yet stable and prosperous corner of the continent until thecountry’s investment promotion agency BEDIA issued an internationaltender for the development of a Brand Strategy for the country. In the2010 World Bank’s ranking of attractiveness of business environments, itranked higher than Nigeria!Singapore is yet another country that has successfully transformed itseconomy from third world to first world; and presently ranks as one ofthe fifth largest economies in the world by gross domestic product. It hasthe most business friendly regulation in the world and has successivelyled the world in ease of doing business compiled by the World Bank inthe past four yearsOf equal note is Shanghai, China; that it has been referred to as the mostdynamic city in the world’s fastest changing nation, an exhilarating, ever-morphing metropolis that is not just living China’s dream, but is settingthe pace for the rest of the world. It hosted the World’s Expo 2010 withover 70million visitors between the months of May and October.Consider Dubai, a former fishing village that have been transformed intoan important tourist destination and port and presently developing as ahub for service industries such as IT and finance, with the new DubaiInternational Financial Centre (DIFC). Its economy was built on the oilindustry but which now currently account for less than 6% of theemirates revenues.Increasingly, countries, states, cities and urban regions compete withother places for attention, investment, visitors, shoppers, talent, events,and the like. Accelerated and intensified globalisation has led to asituation where the main competition is no longer the city down the roador the town across the bay, but where competitors are places half a worldaway. Further, this global competition is no longer limited to the capitaland big cities; it now directly affects all cities and concentrations ofurban settlements.*Contributed by Ndudi Osakwe, Principal Consultant, Infoplus. He can be reached oninquiry@ibgnigeria.com or ibgnigeria@gmail.com

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