Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Rebranding war @ Radio House: Akunyili, Bilbis part ways?

Controversy generated by the aborted sale of 2.3 Gega Hertz (GHz), may be far from being over as the deal was said to have put the Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili at war with the Minister of State, Alhaji Ikra Aliyu Bilbis.

There were strong indications at the weekend that Prof. Akunyili may have parted ways with Alhaji Bilbis, following their divergent positions on the issue.

The evidence that there is apparently ‘rebranding war’ at the Radio House, the headquarters of Federal Ministry of Information and Communications (FMIC) was discovered between the two ministers as the outcome of the yet to be ‘buried’ interference by Akunyili on the concluded 2.3 spectrum auction, which ended on May 8, this year.

The parting of ways of the two ministers came to the on the account of their positions concerning the opposing stands of the two on the 2.3GHz sale.

While Akunyili in her letter, which ignited the controversy and addressed to the chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which brought about the stalemate on the 2.3GHz issue, claiming non-adherence to due process, the Minister of State, Bilbis, stated otherwise in his letter to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

In fact, Bilbis was said to had favoured the telecom regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and not only upheld the auction, but aligned himself with the procedures from A to Z.

According to Akunyili’s letter to EFCC dated May 18, 2009, “It is important to note that NCC never informed my office of its intention to license what is a scarce national resource critical to broadband and Internet availability within the Federal Republic of Nigeria and tangential to some policy initiatives of the Ministry.”

On the contrary, Bilbis in his submission to AGF Aondonkaa on the same matter, declared “… I wish to state that I was fully briefed and aware of the process right from the planning stage to eventual execution.”

Investigations by ITRealms Online revealed that at present some forces aghast to the Minister of State’s position embarked on blackmailing him with a purported letter of denial, for daring to support the NCC’s procedures on the matter under reference; 2.3GHz.

Additionally, it was revealed that even the issue of rebranding Nigeria, the two ministers who are supposed to be working together are surprisingly working apart to the disadvantage of the Nigerian populace.

One of those instances as discovered by ITRealms Online investigations is that invariably Prof. Akunyili is doing the rebranding alone without carrying the Minister of State along, given the evidence in her letter headed paper which has the current rebranding logo and slogan, while Bilbis, on the other hand is still making use of what an industry observer described as left-over of former rebranding agenda introduced by former Minister Frank Nweke Jnr; which boldly displays the map of Africa and Nigeria with the slogan: The Heart of Africa.

Equally at the newly created website, the only material of notable Nigerian available is that of Prof. Akunyili, rather than alongside other Nigerians of repute, therefore leaving nothing much to be desired on the site and campaign.

This, industry observers also said, could be an indication Akunyili is just on a jamboree as far as current rebranding of Nigeria campaign is concerned, after all, not even Yar’Adua’s resume was uploaded anywhere near that of Akunyili in the rebranding website.

Just as it was further alleged that she was using that rebranding platform to make herself relevant in the minds of Nigerians and Anambrarians particularly for anticipated 2010 game plan and beyond.

After all, it was recently rumoured she was interested in the governorship of Anambra State come 2010, which already have over 60 contestants, of which was promptly denied by her media aides.

Also, it was alleged that Akunyili was not excited with Bilbis’ submission on 2.3GHz, even as the Minister of State equally was not happy, as Akunyili tends to time without number usurp his position, at least in the foregoing controversy, as the supervising minister for NCC and so on.

As well, Bilbis was purportedly not consulted before writing to EFCC on the matter under his guidance on the licensing episode.

ITRealms Online further noted that few weeks back, the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) had advocated a repair of Nigeria at its recent Enugu convention instead of the clamour for rebranding.

Thus leaving stakeholders to wonder what exactly is the motive behind current rebranding of Nigeria’s campaign, when even a junior Minister could not be co-opted into the campaign or the current campaign letter headed paper be printed out or made available for the Minister of State.

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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