Prof. Uche Waleke of the Finance Department, Nasarawa State University, on Friday urged Nigerians to embrace and uphold their culture to achieve national security and economic development.
Waleke made the call during the investment forum segment of the 16th International Arts and Craft Expo (INAC) in Abuja.
The professor spoke on the theme “Culture, Economic Development and National Security”.
According to him, culture plays a significant role in economic development and national security.
“The nation has embraced a mono economy for too long hence its challenges of insecurity and minimal economic growth,” ‘Waleke said.
He noted that when Nigeria begins to diversify its economy with a look into the culture industry, it will be better for it.
According to him, creating a more prosperous, equitable and secure society entails government rendering utmost support to the arts, crafts, fashion, music, movie sectors of the culture industry.
“Mass production of Nigerian cultural products is capable of ensuring employment creation, income generation, export promotion ,creation of some sense of identity and belonging as well as attracting tourists.
“This will also guarantee social cohesion.
“Culture is critical to economic development, skills development should be encouraged as well as good sense of business ethics.
“Also, to enhance the ease of doing business, efficient and non corrupt bureaucracy must be ensured, taxes be harmonised and the culture of paying bribes be dealt with,” he said.
Waleke advised the Federal Government and Nigerians generally to cultivate the habit of savings, as it leads to investment, growth and development.
He said that the government must begin to involve local communities when developing cultural products.
“This will help to ensure that the products are relevant and meaningful to the people who create and consume them.
“Government must work on protecting intellectual property rights so that cultural producers are compensated for their work.
“Government needs to promote cultural diversity so that all cultures are represented and respected, as well as support small-scale producers so that they have the resources they need to produce high-quality cultural products.
“Nigerian culture that values meritocracy, fair treatment, civility, harmony, rule of law and equality before the law and hard work is going to produce a far more developed and secured society than a culture that values nepotism and caste system,” he said.
Also speaking, Suleiman Mohammed, National President, Society of Nigerian Artistes, urged Nigerian universities to intensify efforts on conducting research on the nation’s culture and ways of advancing the sector.
He said this would go a long way in positioning the arts and culture industries.
Picto Uzochukwu, a security expert, said that the issue of national security must be a collective effort of every Nigerian.
He noted that culture had great potential for employment creation, urging Nigerians to tap into the preservation of historical sites as a means of wealth creation for themselves.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria