A former Chief Judge of Ekiti State, Honourable Justice Kayode Bamisile, has stressed that environmental phenomenon has been identified as playing a prominent role in the emergence of entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
Justice Bamisile made this assertion at the 2014 edition of the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, with the theme, “Cultural Entrepreneurship Development in Nigeria,” held at the South-West Zonal Office of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Akure, Ondo State.
According to the retired judge, “the disparities among nations in developing entrepreneurial societies have also been attributed to environmental differences between societies both in time and spaces,” and that entrepreneurship in Nigeria was a function of the environment.
He stated that some of the fundamental aspects of the social system include the cultures of a people as they affect the development of the entrepreneurial spirit, and motivation as they either enhance or inhibit entrepreneurship behaviour and drive amongst people.
Speaking further, Justice Bamisile highlighted some family values and roles that determine responsibilities for the provision of the economic wellbeing of the family unit, saying, “in some societies and cultures, the men are given a total role of bread-winners and the women restricted to home-keeping; in other societies, the bread-winner is borne by both the man and the woman, thus allowing the woman a space to engage in entrepreneurial activities.”
The retired jurist, however, did not restrict himself to the environmental factor alone; he also identified the socio-cultural system, religion, education, and poverty level as some of the factors that affect the emergence of entrepreneurship in Nigeria and Africa at large.
Earlier in his address, the General Manager of FRCN, Positive FM, Akure, Rev. Olusegun Ayankoso, who was the Chairman of the Occasion, appreciated NICO’s effort in marking the World Culture Day event each year, and called on well-meaning Nigerians to be actively involved in cultural entrepreneurship ventures that will earn the nation foreign exchange.
He lamented that some of the socio-cultural menaces in the society today have led to the inability of most of the youths to engage themselves in meaningful ventures, stressing that, there were so many entrepreneurial skills that, when engaged in, would totally reduce the rate of violence and youth unrest prevalent in the societies today.
In his goodwill message, Engr. (Dr.) Samuel Olusunle, Acting Director/Chief Executive, Engineering Materials Development Institute, Akure, felicitated with NICO on the successful celebration of the 2014 World Culture Day, agreeing with the Honourable Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke, who recently predicted that the nation’s culture sector would move Nigeria from its mono-economy, to generate youth employment and create wealth.
In his words: “The culture and tourism sector of the Nigerian economy has the wherewithal to promote national pride, generate revenue, and protect our national image on the international scene, a source of employment and rural development.”
He gave an instance when he was on a trip to Malaysia, for an international conference, and was the only Nigerian dressed in native attire, that he felt like a celebrity overnight, as he was besieged by a group of foreigners desiring to have photographs with him, and advised Nigerians to take pride in cultural attires, assuring that his Institute would be willing to explore any mutually beneficial area of collaboration with NICO to contribute to national development.
Also in a goodwill message, the Director of Culture, Ondo State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Lawrence Amimi, encouraged culture stakeholders and the mass media to always deliberate on cultural matters in the indigenous languages as some of the inadequacies in our lives today are due to the subjugation of the indigenous culture to borrowed cultures, which, to him, was Neo-colonialism, a cankerworm that the nation needs to fight with vigour.
In a lecture, titled, “In Search of Creative Entrepreneurs,” the Coordinator, NICO South-West Zone, Mr. Ohi Ojo, defined the concept of entrepreneurship as, “the art of making money by starting or running business, especially when this involves taking (financial) risks,” emphasising the importance of entrepreneurship in the evolution of the cultural industry in Nigeria which has helped to impact on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said that the current rebasing of the economy highlights the importance of the cultural industry in the overall economic outlook of the country, noting that, “a cursory look at the industry and a methodological approach through entrepreneurship will open up the great economic potential in that sector;” pointing out other areas of cultural interest where entrepreneurs ought to focus on, which include, arts and craft, traditional medicine, food, heritage sites, religion, music and drama.
There were questions and comments after the lecture as to what government was doing to assist entrepreneurs; how it would be possible to promote traditional medicine since government had banned adverts on traditional herbal practice; government’s efforts to ensure the production of standard products by entrepreneurs; how the issue of favouritism could be curbed when securing government loan for the establishment of small scale enterprises; and what government was doing to remove some of the stringent measures attached to securing loans from the Agricultural and other Development Banks in the country.
While responding to some of the questions, Mr. Ojo said most entrepreneurs cannot stand alone in the production chain but needed to collaborate with others to come out with better creative works, adding that, most times, traditional medicines are not advertised, yet they still get appreciable patronage.
He submitted that the issue of favouritism was a universal challenge, and regarding advertisement of traditional medicines, he noted that, “government is only trying to protect us from death. It is difficult to prove the efficacy of native medicine due to its metaphysical nature and it is not a total ban but have to go through the relevant agencies for proper certification.”
On a final note, the Chairman of the Occasion, Rev. Olusegun Ayankoso, stressed the need of dress culture in Nigeria, saying, “We have lost interest in what is ours,” and charged everyone to take pride in their cultures and wear their native attires.
Highlights of the events were a drama performance, titled, “Local Content,” staged by the NICO SWZ Cultural Troupe and Ewi (poetry) by Mr. Babatunde Adewunmi of Budget Unit of the Institute.
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