FIX ASO ROCK’S WEBSITE – IT’S AN IMAGE-MAKER!   6 comments

I have issues with the West and especially with the United Kingdom and the United States, but honestly, you can’t take it from them at times. Have you ever visited the official website of the British Prime Minister’s residence at http://www.number10.gov.uk or that of the US Presidency at http://www.whitehouse.gov? These websites depict organisational brilliance and professional sublimeness at their consummate best! They are awe-inspiring fountains of knowledge on the histories and operations of these world-renown edifices. In fact, you could consider the websites museums of some sort!

Even our own African brother-giant, South Africa, also appreciates the importance of giving its presidency a befitting and eye-catching website. At http://www.thepresidency.gov.za, the South African presidency is officially treated to a website of the classic standard of the Western countries mentioned above. The Ghanaian presidency’s website, at http://www.presidency.gov.gh, is equally very organised and attractive.

By contrast, the official website of the Aso Rock Villa, the Nigerian President’s official residence at http://www.nigeriafirst.org is an utter disgrace, providing very little information, in text or photos, about the Villa itself or of past presidents/heads of state. In addition, pictures on this website are shaped improperly and information provided there is scarcely detailed and comprehensive. In fact, the computer graphics alone are no better than what obtains in some amateurish blogs! Added to that, it is an insult that in the information age, updates from the presidency’s official website are often behind time. Indeed, going by standard examples like the ones listed before it, the URL of that website itself doesn’t suggest any relationship with Nigeria’s presidency. Why not simply go with http://www.asorockvilla.gov.ng or a http://www.presidency.gov.ng?

Rather than spend billions of Naira each year refurbishing the furniture or the dome in the Aso Villa or ₦1billion on food, why not spend a negligible token to bring the Villa’s official website up to speed with a truly modern outlook? Indeed, rather than buy more aircraft to add to an already saturated presidential fleet, why not invest funds in things that add value to the State House and boost tourists’ and investors’ interest in the system the more? Moreover, rather than appoint political cronies of senior ruling party stalwarts or some other lacklustre or pseudo-professionals who evidently don’t possess the technical know-how to man this vital national image-making website, why not get the best brains in the land to do the job?

In addition, as is the practice in other climes worldwide including in those same countries mentioned above (@PresidencyZA, @PresidencyGhana, @KremlinRussia_E) @whitehouse @Number10gov etc), methinks it will be proper and professional for Aso Rock’s Twitter handle to be @AsoRockVilla for example, rather than the extant scenario where serving individuals use their personal handles for that purpose. This seemingly minute fact could go a long way to further institutionalise the Aso Rock Villa, in image, and in substance!

For President Goodluck Jonathan’s battalion of media aides viz. Reno Omokri for New Media, Doyin Okupe for Public Affairs and Reuben Abati for Media and Publicity (as if there’s any practical difference between the last two, by the way), my current postulations are tasks they would do well to attend to.

Present challenges notwithstanding, Nigeria remains a country with a great promise. Consequently, anything in this information age that can potentially and practically serve as a window to our government, especially the presidency, must be tailored to reflect that.

Raymond is on Twitter @Raymond_Eyo

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Posted February 3, 2012 by Raymond Eyo in Aso Villa

6 responses to “FIX ASO ROCK’S WEBSITE – IT’S AN IMAGE-MAKER!

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  1. This man is a patriotic nigeria.

  2. Truth is the folks occupying the place believe its a security risk to give out info about the villa, or allow people visit. But mostly because they don’t give a rats arse about it, no matter what their media guys say about it.

    Is it not a coincidence that only countries in Africa that are able to do it, have genuine democracy, and occupy such villas as a result of a clean and credible electoral process?

    • Elcapitan, you’re correct to say it is mainly African countries which are practising genuine democracy that open up the presidency to the world via their official websites. But then, my argument wasn’t just limited to that kind of information. There’s plenty of history in the official websites of the White House and the British PM’s residence – such information sustains a visitor’s interest there and keeps him coming regularly. Sadly, there’s no such thing in the Aso Rock website.

  3. A serious government listens, reads and corrects its shortcomings…that’s the beauty of the Social Media- opportunities for the best ideas, concepts and models to emerge…from a clash of perspectives. Good point Mr Eyo, I hope Reuben Abati and Reno Omokri are reading…

    • Hi Imago. Thanks for commenting and for complimenting. Indeed, I hope Abati and Omokri listen. I plan to drop a copy of this write-up with them when I visit Abuja later this month. It’s an important issue.

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