The founder of the Olori Francis Meshioye Foundation a culture non-governmental organisation (NGO), Chief Olori Francis Meshioye, have urged Nigerians to uphold their cultural values as every country’s economy is influenced by its historical background and cultures.
Speaking at the inaugural colloquium held in honor of his 60th birthday titled ‘The role of Culture and Tradition in Attaining Economic Development’ explained that with culture one can easily reveal the tradition of a society from the past to the present and even the future, including the future of the economy.
This he stressed that culture and tradition are avenue for economic development as there are lots of benefits for the country’s economy when it is harnessed.
Olori Francis emphasised, “in most cases when discussing the cause of underdevelopment, particularly in Nigeria, we quick point to a long history of colonial rule and exploitation, unequal exchanges, and the lack of a just international economic order, all of which are external factors. This may be true to some extent but resting on them alone is like transferring responsibility for our prosperity to other nations struggling with their own challenges and when we become victims of history, failing to harness the forces of our internal non-economic development factors such as culture which is within our possibilities and control.”
Meanwhile today, our economy can benefit a lot from the intangible and expressive forms of culture. Africa, which has long been regarded as the continent of festivals, has a lot to display in term of festivals. However, this should be an avenue to confidently use culture and tradition to promote economic development.”
Olori Francis however urged the government to promote the best of the Nigerian culture most especially the ancient traditional medicines, culture of respect for elders, and not pushing the spiritual aspect of culture aside and as well the textile sector thereby promoting culture through the educational sector with the use of various beautiful Ankara print school uniform as well as civil service sector with uniform from the Nigeria textile product as this will spur investment nationally also create avenue for development of local inputs of raw materials in Nigeria.
He pointed, “for instance, China in spite the strong spread of western culture, China has successively held on to her culture by subjecting the influence of western culture to its own traditional values, because China, far beyond the western millennium, benefited more from its own tradition and history.
While China’s economy can be admired, China’s rich cultural tradition, which greatly influences and shapes its economic development, cannot be overlooked. The same applies to Japan whose economic success model is based on the culture of improvement called Kaizen which mean ‘getting better’ and also described as a measure of continuous improvement. Not forgetting Ghana promotion of Africa ankara where we see student wearing ankara as uniform.”
He stressed that as much as we embrace the western and other nations spiritual practices (religions), it should not be at the expense of our heritage and even our economy. Hence, Nigerians should hold on to it culture for rich economic development.
Olori Francis further stressed that Nigeria ought to not wait in watching her economic viable varied tradition associated cultural and values remain untapped. Understanding these would influence each legal decision, social, and economic policies that ought to be geared towards economic developments. By this way everybody would have a sense of personal responsibility to preserve our culture.
“If a foreigner will attend college on scholarship to find out African and Nigeria culture and then entertain Africans and Nigerians with their glorious performance and practices of our own culture, we are going to not escape an indictment if we fail to try and do one thing regarding our own citizens who go on culture-window-shopping, gathering foreign cultural values and practices with very little or no consequence for our national, local, social, and economic well being.”
He added that for any nation to experience justice, trust, love, peace and harmony its people should be imbued with all the good life and qualities and moral education like those provided and promoted by her ancient and indigenous hence culture admonishes the necessities which are the bedrock for national development.