The Olympic Games in London has been described as a viable platform to reposition Nigeria to the rest of the world.
Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) which embarked on a destination awareness campaign at the start of London 2012 said the activities would strategically help in shoring the strength of Nigeria.
The tourism body, in concert with the Nigeria High Commission in London, organised the two- day perception changing event in Hackney, London, where it displayed the culture and products of the country in addition to offering free lunch and gifts for guests.
The campaign was similar to a strategy employed by NTDC during the 2010 FIFA World Cup which took place in South Africa.
Nigeria's Deputy High Commissioner to UK, Ambassador Oluwatoyin Kayode Lawal, three members of the British House of Parliament and 37 borough councillors - all of Nigerian ancestry, were at the occasion.
NTDC Director General, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, said that they have succeeded in positioning Nigeria at the Olympic Games in terms of its strength and investment opportunities.
The rebranding campaign had a very large turn out of Nigerians and their foreign guests who shared ideas on how the country could overcome its challenges and move forward.
"The Olympics is a platform for any country to showcase it best and tell its story. The British people did so by exhibiting their culture. In Nigeria we must begin to tell our own story and not allow others to do so for us. There is no way we can brand Nigeria without the concept of culture and tourism. Tourism is the driver because it has so many legs, travels far and wide and is the major tool employed by other countries," Runsewe said.
He described Nigeria's challenges as man made, saying the country would soon overcome and play on its potentials.
The NTDC boss said that the large number of British lawmakers of Nigerian extraction should be a big plus for Nigeria, Africa's biggest country to build on.
He said that in line with the on going transformation agenda of the Jonathan administration, NTDC hoped to invite the Nigerian- British lawmakers to Nigeria to help in exploiting investment opportunities that will lead to the development the country.
"We are a people that like to celebrate success and at the right time, we will soon invite the members of the British parliament to Nigeria to see how opportunities can be exploited in one of Africa's biggest economies. The man who connects the London Underground System and ensures its proper running is a Nigerian. We are a great people."
Ambassador Lawal said he shared the philosophy that Nigerians should shape their own story through tourism which he noted would correct the perception of the western media about the country.
He said the High Commission was working to correct the negative impression about the country, citing the activities of some Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in all spheres of human endeavours.
"We have our challenges as country, but the message should be clear that Nigeria can be turned around. People only need to join us so that these challenges can be turned to opportunities so that we can move to the next level," Ambassabor Lawal said.
He said the awareness event during the Olympics would serve as a platform to showcase Nigeria and to address some of its investment problems.
"We have a mandate from Mr President to go out and bring in a lot of investors to the country. The essence of this exhibition is to showcase our great country to a large global audience. We must turn our challenges to opportunities," Lawal said.