Not about to take on the so-called “Re-branding” stuff here. In the newspapers a few days ago, there was the news report (from a Press Release) by Ibukun Odusote of the Federal Ministry of Information, to the effect that two new websites have been opened up to fire the ‘re-branding’ project of Dora Akunyili, the Communications Minister.
Odusote listed the sites as fmic.gov.ng and nigeriarebrands.com. She apologized that they would not use nigeria.gov.ng (the supposed national portal). Reason? Hear her: “The Federal Government’s official website (www.nigeria.gov.ng) is dysfunctional and inaccessible for now because of disagreement with the Internet Service Provider, which is taking too long to resolve. This unfortunate situation compelled the ministry to launch a new website which became up and running for the past three weeks”
There is the beginning of the gaffe, or lies… or ignorance. ISPs do not have anything to do with domain names as part of their competence, unless of course they are also domain registrars. Anybody involved in the business of .ng domain registration know better and may even pity her for being the victim of a cut-throat domain registrant who may be demanding huge ransom from the government.
I did a whois search for the nigeria.gov.ng using the tool at network-tools.com and here is what came up:
++ nigeria.gov.ng ++
Organization: Federal Ministry of Information
Description: Federal Ministry of Information
Address: Radio House,
Person: Ibukun Odusote (email@example.com)
Organization: Federal Ministry of Information & Communications
Address: Radio House, Area 10,
Postal Code: 234
Person: Nitda Hostmaster (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Organization: National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA)
Address: 28 Port Harcourt Crescent,Off Gimbiya Street
Address: Area 11,Garki
Postal Code: 0000
Record updated on 2008-01-29 09:55:49
Zone updated on 2007-10-27 21:39:45
Domain servers in listed order:
Domain is Active
–end of quote–
Incidentally Odusote herself is listed as Admin contact, so she must herself be part of the problem of the site. Officialdom perhaps does not allow her say all.
Second issue is the site nigeriarebrands.com. I daresay that this site is absolute crap for a frontal portal of a nation desirous of a good image. For starters the designer (perhaps the brother of a brother of a sister of an uncle or an in-law of someone in government) used a freeware template that he was not even able to properly implement. The images on the site are skewed, apparently because the web designer does not know the first thing about how to format images.
For crying out loud, if you decide to use a web portal to showcase a country, why can’t you pay good money to have professional web designers do your site from ground up?