1.1 Background information
The positive perception of a country‟s image is an important standard for judging
her standing in the international community. A good image translates to respect,
influence and prestige. To ensure that this respect is accorded to any country,
governments initiate policies that would ensure economic growth, reduction in
unemployment and improvement in the quality of life of the citizens. While, a bad or
negative perception of a country‟s image indicates that such a country lacks respect,
influence and prestige in the international community. The factors that can determine a
nation‟s image (for good or bad) can be both internal and external. Internally, a
succession of regimes of bad policies and practice can lead to this. Externally, it could be
through participation in foreign military and humanitarian missions (Egwemi, 2010;
Adeleye, 2009). An image problem usually occurs when there are both internal and
external factors that sway the pendulum towards a bad/negative image. Whatever the
source of an image problem. Many countries would to do all that is possible to
overcome such an image.
In Nigeria, since the inception of the present democratic rule in 1999, the country
had been struggling with image problems. These problems range from corruption in high
places like bribing of highly placed officials before one can secure a job, start a business
and run it peacefully, lack of transparency, fraud, electoral manipulations, political
assassination and others. This situation has been so aggravated by the activities of
Nigerians who have taken to crime such as cyber crime, 419 and these people operate in
all the sectors of the country‟s economy. This situation is captured by Ishiekwene
(2004:1) when he notes that:
Those of us living in the western world, Europe and
America in particularly, would testify to the humiliation
and embarrassment suffered daily in the hands of bankers,
potential employers and even ordinary neighbors because
they have Nigeria links. And it is not only the whites that
stigmatize Nigerians, even Africans, including Ghanaians,
Cameroonians, South Africans , Zimbabweans and a host
of our surrounding neighbors in west African look on
Nigerians as crooks, liars, thieves, drug pushers, 419 –
kidnappers, assassins and social miscreants of various
Really, Nigeria has many large numbers of criminals giving the country a bad
name across the globe. We seem to be in a hurry to make money and for many Nigerians,
the money must be made at all cost and through any means. Even those elected into
positions of trust, amass wealth by stealing from government coffers mindlessly by using
many crooked means, such as falsification of contract papers, initiation of jumbo
projects, and outright conversion of government money to their private use.
This situation is not helped by a growing level of poverty, which has now debased
most Nigerians. There is too much poverty, unemployment and underemployment in
Nigeria. At the face of these developments, various governments including the present
government now embarked upon programs to help improve the image of the country,
such as the N600 Million Naira image laundering program of the Obasanjo regime, the
creation of EFCC, the re-branding programs and the heart of African project the
splashing $1.2 million on a U.S public Relations and lobby firm, Levick, to help change
international and local media narrative”.
In 2013, the Federal government as reported in Premium Times paid flesh man –
Hilliard inc. $ 60.000 to help arrange interviews with foreign channels including CNN. .
These programs were initiated by these different governments to help improve the image
of the country in spite of the worsening un-employment problem which has worsened the
crime situation in the country. This study therefore, intends to investigate the effect of
unemployment to the realization of the image laundering project of the Nigerian
1.2 Statement of Problem
Since the commencement of this democratic era in 1999, a very big problem that
has confronted the country remains the problem of tarnished image of the country. This
problem of negative image developed as a result of the involvement of Nigerians in the
perpetration of crimes such as cyber fraud, 419 activities (obtaining by tricks), money
laundry, kidnapping, assassinations, armed robbery and the monumental corruption
perpetrated by government officials. Due to the effect of these problems of poor image;
Nigeria which should be a model for the rest of Africa has lost its pride of place because
countries like Ghana which seem to have taken the initiative are occupying the front row
and have left the back bench for Nigeria.
Also, Obama‟s non recognition of Nigeria during the administration of Yar‟Adua
and the non-invitation of Nigeria to attend the G20 summit in London in 2009 (Ameru
2009, Nigerian compass, 2009; Akuta, 2009).
This image problem is also covered by the level of unemployment in the country
necessitated by the high rate of corruption and government‟s poor policies. To address
this image problem, the various governments from 2006-2015 initiated various image
laundering projects such as the „‟re-branding project‟‟, the spending of N600 Million
Naira by the Obasanjo regime in image laundering, “Heart of Africa Project‟ and the.
Splashing $1.2 million on a U.S public Relations and lobby firm, Levick, to help change
international and local media narrative”.
In 2013, the Federal government as reported in Premium Times paid flesh man –
Hilliard inc. $ 60.000 to help arrange interviews with foreign channels including CNN.
These projects have gulped Billions of naira, and at home, unemployment which is the
main root why crime in the country has worsened. This study therefore, intends to
investigate the effect of un-employment on the image laundering projects of various
governments in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study aims at assessing the influence of un-employment on the international
image of Nigeria, vis-a-vis Nigeria‟s image laundering projects (2006-2015). Other
(1) To determine the various types of unemployed induced crimes involved into by
Nigerians that have negatively influenced the country‟s image.
(2) To critically examine the extent unemployment has affected Nigerian‟s
(3) To examine the extent of attainment of the objectives of the various image
laundering projects initiated by Nigeria.
(4) To recommend adequate solutions and make recommendations on how
government can tackle the unemployment problem and improve the country‟s image
1.4 Research Questions
This research questions will guide the study:
1. What are the various crimes involved into by Nigerians that have negatively
by influenced Nigeria‟s international image?
2. To what extent has unemployment influenced Nigeria‟s negative image?
3. To what extent does unemployment influence by Nigerians involved crimes that
have affected Nigeria‟s international image?
4. To what extent has unemployment influenced the realization of the objectives
of the various image laundering projects initiated by Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
These hypotheses formulated will be tested by the researcher:
1. There is no significant relationship between unemployment and the
involvement of Nigerians into crimes that have tarnished Nigeria‟s image.
2. There is no significant relationship between unemployment and the
country‟s negative international image.
3. There is no significant relationship between crimes committed by Nigerian and
the country‟s negative image
1.6 Significant of the Study
This study would be very significant as it would contribute to the existing stock of
literature on unemployment and Nigeria‟s international image. It will provide information
to the government on the type of crimes involved into by the unemployed Nigeria‟s that
affect the country‟s image.
Government officials would utilize the wealth of knowledge provided by this
study to articulate good image laundering programs that would help to improve the
international image of the country.
The recommendations of this study might be able to provide effective alternative
on how the government can improve upon the country‟s international image.
1.7 Scope and Limitations
This study will be centered on unemployment and Nigeria‟s international image:
An Assessment of the image laundering projects (2006-2015). Also, the findings of this
study will be used for data generalization.
In carrying out this study, the researcher will encounter some constraints. These
constraints would include time, scarcity of literature materials and the responses of the
respondents. As the time frame for this study is already fixed, the researcher would work
the extra mile to ensure that the time frame adhered to. Also, another constraint is the
scarcity of local empirical materials for the study these constraints would be addressed by
using foreign original materials.
Also, the responses of the respondents may not be hundred percent sincere, to
take care of this constraints, the instrument that will be designed will be administered to
more than the selected samples and the correctly and sincerely filled questionnaire would
be selected and used by the researcher.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Unemployment: This refers to Nigerian graduates and others who qualified in different
skills who supposed to be employed to practice what they have learnt but due to lack of
paid jobs are still looking for working work to a living.
Crimes: These are various criminal activities involved into by Nigerians such as
kidnapping, armed robbery, corrupt activities by those in government, 419, child
trafficking, money laundering and others perpetuated by Nigerians that are affecting the
country‟s international image.
Image Laundering: These are the various positive image promotion programs initiated by
the government to help reposition the country before the world community.
1.9 Organization of the Study:
This study will be organized into five chapters. Chapter one is the introduction
which will comprise the background of the study, research questions, research
hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitations, definition of terms and
organization of the study.
Chapter two which is tagged literature review will cover related literature
materials. The chapter will cover conceptual, theoretical and empirical materials; the
review would help to provide a foundation for the study.
The chapter three of the study will cover these subheadings; research design, the
population that will be covered by the study, the sample and sampling techniques. Other
subheadings include research instrument, validity and reliability of the instrument, data
collection techniques/methods of data collection and data analysis techniques.
The chapter four of the study will include introduction of data analysis, analysis
of all data collected, description of research instruments used and the summary of data
analysis and the result achieved.
While the chapter five of the chapter will deal with the summary of the findings,
discussion based on similar findings made by others, conclusion and recommendations.
Adeleye, S., (2009). Obama Snub and the Nigerian State. Nigerian Compass, May, 26
Akuta, C.V., (2009). London G20 Summit Minus Nigeria. Nigerian Compass, April 17,
Aremu, I., (2009). G-20: Beyond Yar‟Adua‟s lamentations. Daily Trust, April 6, pp: 11.
Egwemi Vitor (2010). Managing Nigeria‟s Image Crisis: Akunyili‟s Rebranding
Programme to the Rescue. Department of Political Science, Kogi State University,
Ishiekwene Tony (2004). Obasanjo and Nigeria‟s Image Laundering: Money Won‟t buy
you love? Nigeria World.
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