Mr Francis Meshioye, a culture enthusiast, said that culture could serve as a viable strategy for economic development in Nigeria, If properly utilised and strengthening.
Meshioye disclosed this at a press briefing towards the inaugural colloquium of Otunba Francis Meshioye Foundation, held in Lagos, on Tuesday.
The event titled,”The role of culture and tradition in attaining economic development”.
He quoted Peter Drucker, a great economic philosopher, which says that, ” The final resource in economic development is people, It is people not capital or raw materials that develop an economy”.
He stated further that, If culture was the acceptable way of the people, culture could then be a viable way of economic development.
“After we walk the history lane of economic development of great nations, we are going to decide that, it is culture that produces all the difference, ” he said.
Meshioye said that, there was no denying that a country’s economy was influenced by it’s historical background and cultures.
He added that, without exception, the economic development background of a country like ours, Nigeria, cannot be separated from its culture.
“This means that with culture one can easily reveal the traditions of society from the past to the present and even predict the future, including the future of the economy.
“Hence, researchers of a nation’s economic development would certainly turn to a country’s culture to look for values, attitudes, and behaviours that influenced its economic situation,” he said.
Meshioye mentioned the three wheels that drives a nation’s to enviable height which includes; politics, economy and culture.
He added that, It is and only, when these three moves in harmony can a society experience rapid development.
“Culture, which can be tangible or intangible, is dynamic, interactive, and interacts with all elements of a society, particularly economic development and the business environment.
“Tangible culture refers to physical objects, resources and spaces that people use to define culture, such as houses, schools, churches mosques, offices, television and media.
“All aforementioned have all involved today and still influence what we perceive as culture, ” he said.
Meshioye said that culture was the hallmark of national development and could therefore be viewed as a productive force.
Mr Biodun Sowunmi, Planning Committee for Otunba Francis Meshioye Foundation, urged the good people of Nigeria to embrace African traditions and cultre has against westernisation.
He said that Nigeria has rich culture, traditions, norms and values that needed to be grasped by foreigners.
Sowunmi urged the government to promote “Made in Nigeria Products” to boost Gross Domestic Products.
Earlier, Prof. Joe Abugu(SAN), University of Lagos, said that Nigeria economy could benefit a lot from the intangible and expressive forms of culture.
Abugu, also, Chairman, Organising Committe for Inaugural Colloquium, Otunba Francis Meshioye Foundation, said that, Africa, which has long been regarded as e continent of festivals, has a lot to display in term of festivals.
“The economic benefits of these festivals should encourage people to use culture and traditions to promote economic development more confidently, ” he said.
Abugu urged Nigerians and government to revive back the old culture, where culture and traditions are well respected, valued and obeyed in our communities.
“Respect for elders, postrate to greet elders, cultural and modest dressing and showcasing our ways of Africa life style.
“Rather than imbibing western culture, thereby, eroding our rich cultural and traditional values.
“I urged the people of Nigeria and the government to have respect and value for our African culture than westernation, he said.