The perception index of Nigeria is a subject of concern in various areas and the perception index of Nigeria on corruption is not at a level of excitement to Nigerians if we go by comments on the streets. However, what is becoming very intriguing to observers and citizens of the country is the continuous show of disconnection among the leaders or rulers of the country particularly when it has to do with accountability.
Accountability is a subject that should be paramount to all the parties involved. Although the Federal Government under the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has said corruption is our problem, he shows little or no sign of trying to combat it. The NNPC and CBN are engraving on the sands of time the issue of disconnect in reputation management when the governor of CBN comes out with figures that portrays the NNPC as an uncoordinated institution and ends up also contradicting himself over time. The disconnect here as a subject in reputation management, is on the fact that there are channels of communications for institutions relationship management but this public display of inaccurate figures only helps to sell Nigeria as a disconnected country.
It is very clear that we are all in a state of confusion as the processes and channels of communication between the various arms of government or government agencies are now for the pages of the news papers going by the stories of conflict of information on the state of the account of NNPC.
Much has been said about the figures, but it brings to mind the theories and principles of organizational communication, if we consider the Federal government and its agencies as one big organization that should work harmoniously to ensure that the wheel of progress rotates well and the citizens are happy.
Happy, yes they say we are; but when we read the reports of two government organisations celebrating “efficiency” in the public space without some level of decorum, it clearly shows that there is a disconnect in the perception of the parties involved even if the entire efforts of the parties are influenced by a third party.
So what will be the gain of a governor of a central bank to shout blue murder, when there is inconsistency in the noise or the quality and volume of the noise? It can best be described as a disconnect in reputation, as the man who is beating the noisy drum of inconsistency is also coming across as inefficient and is likely to miss the value of his message.
An institution, the size of the CBN should not be in a hurry to hit the public space with information and there should be better structured channels to send messages to the members of the community of governance if we must have a good reputation.
What the CBN governor is doing well is that he is helping the world in selling the message that Nigeria is bad and he is a Nigerian which means he is same as the country.
The disconnect in the reputation of NNPC and CBN will still continue; even though on a reputational scale Nigerians will easily say that the CBN has a higher level of good reputation when compared with the reputation of the NNPC. What observers will require is the fundamentals behind the actions of the Governor, if truly he knows the implication of bringing down one little part of the government.
To ensure that the government and Nigeria gets the right perception, all those in government as well as those seeking or aspiring to hold any political position should understand the dynamics of organizational communication, as the misunderstanding of this greatly affects the total reputation of the country; for everything we say (particularly by those in offices) counts either in favour of or against the reputation of the country, even when we spend huge advertising budget campaigning the greatness of our country on international media.
What the world will see most is our self-statements which truly reflect who we are and what we represent; so can the NNPC and CBN actors go to the table and iron out issues, before coming to the public to further damage the fragile reputation we have as a nation?
By: Akonte Ekine