By Gabriel Ewepu- Abuja
As Nigeria celebrates 59th independence anniversary, a non-governmental organization, ASKEVANA, has called on government at all levels to harness the rich cultural potential to generate revenue, wealth creation and employment generation.
This was stated by the Founder, ASKEVANA, Eva Erokoro, while speaking about the essence why the NGO organised the 2019 Independent Day celebration in Abuja, which she said was part of its lined up activities for the year, and called on Nigerians to collaborate with government and other relevant stakeholders to build the nation despite challenges faced by them.
The event had in attendance government officials from relevant government agencies including the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, and also stakeholders in the private sector.
Erokoro said: “Nigeria has a rich culture we can actually display ourselves, which will bring a lot of money to the country through tourism, so we should all put all hands together in making the country better and make Nigeria greater. This would help save the nation from losing its heritage and values.”
She also expressed optimism that the entrepreneurial education given to young people has exposed them to many business opportunities, and if properly tapped would take millions of them out of the streets and social vices.
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Meanwhile, stakeholders have maintained that the nation’s tourism sector needs a policy framework that would facilitate a well-coordinated and creative tourism industry in Nigeria, and that would be a way forward for the sector as well for economic development and contribute significantly to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
According to them with cultural policy in place the Nigerian cultural potential will be unleashed to grow and develop the sector that would attract tourists all over the world, hence government and stakeholders should synergise to achieve it.
One of the stakeholders who is also a public speaker, Prince Rufus Haastrup, asserted that the rich cultural diversity of the nation stands tall on the global stage and remains a major tool of social control and adds value to the attitude, behavior, and action of the people, particularly young people, and added that it serves as an “architect and a molder of social personality” and forms a formidable force for social solidarity and unity.
Haastrup further stated that the power of culture serves as an avenue for learning leadership and political skills including laws, taboos, and regulations that bring decency in the system and natural weeds out all forms of corruption and disunity.
“On evaluating the positions of popular policy of Nigeria, we need to protect our culture, as it is now we have a love for foreign culture than Nigerian culture.
“We believe everything that is foreign is better than local production. We need to change the narrative by appreciating what we have”, he added.