The special assistant, media, to the honourable minister of culture, tourism and national orientation, Dr. Taiwo Oladokun, has charged Nigerians to begin to use the cultural resources at their disposal to project the country’s national identity in the globalisation process, which is opening new frontiers now.
Presenting a paper, titled, “Globalization and Culture: The Implications for Nigeria,” at the 3-day NICO national repositioning workshop at the Merit House, Aguiyi Ironsi Way, Maitama, Abuja, Oladokun, who is visiting senior lecturer, theatre & cultural studies and mass communication departments, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, noted that though globalisation, like any social phenomenon, had some negative effects, especially on the cultures and people of developing economies, like Nigeria, it is a good development platform for cultural understanding, global interaction, cultural studies, administration and cultural diplomacy.
Speaking further, he informed participants that, while it is admissible that developing countries were not on equal footing with advanced countries on the globalisation equilibrium, there was no evidence yet where it was stated that the developing economies were being prevented from promoting and projecting their own cultural values and assets as well as disseminating same globally.
According to him, globalisation, unlike colonialism that berthed cultural imperialism, was not forced on people, therefore, as a people, Nigerians were at liberty to accept or reject any aspects of cultural globalisation, which were at variance with the beliefs, traditions and culture, by applying the principle of selective perception of media content effects, and isolate or disregard all contents of global cultures that were irrelevant to the growth and well-being of the people and culture, while embracing and applying the values deemed to be relatively good for personal, societal and socio-cultural development of Nigerians and Nigeria.
He said, from a critical look at the concept, process and application of the values of globalisation and examined its various forms on every aspect of the socio-political and cultural life of Nigerians, it would be agreed that globalisation was a reality and so the best approach to it was to accept the fact that people are now living in a global village and also admit that globalisation had not only caught up with Nigerians but had come to stay.
Oladokun therefore averred that the only way forward was to adapt to it and devise strategies to make the diverse and unique cultures relevant globally as well, while formulating policies that could help the preservation, sustenance and promotion of the culture as well as policies that would mitigate the negative effects of globalisation on the Nigerian culture.
He reiterated further that, realizing also that globalisation obviously had its negative sides where the powerful nations try pushing other cultures to the margins through aggressive projection of their own values, using especially their equally powerful media and other strong economic and cultural institutions, to project their cultural values better than other parts of the world, this phenomenon was only possible if Nigerians, as a people, refuse to or lack the capacity to also project their own cultures using the same globalisation platform.
Oladokun, therefore, called on Nigerians and relevant stakeholders in the country to begin to use the little resources at their disposal to project Nigeria’s cultural identity globally.
Jonathan N. Nicodemus