The Vice Chancellor, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), Professor Muhammad Akaro Mainoma, has said that until a nation embraces the culture of accountability, their quest for development will be unachieved, stressing that if development can be regarded as the enhancement of the living standards of a people, then efforts geared towards development must not ignore culture.
Mainoma said this in his paper recently at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, at the quarterly public lecture organised by the National Institute for Culture Orientation (NICO), on the theme: “Culture, Accountability and National Development”.
The NSUK VC, who identified customs, unique values, language of the people and their tradition, uniformity and the relationship that exists between people, as some of the components of culture that affect national development, maintained that accounting is often affected by its environment, including the culture of the country within which it operates.
According to him, cultural influence on accountability can be viewed from the points of view of a community or individuals and how it affects their performance management, stressing that, “in a strong community accountability setting, you will tend to feel accountable first and foremost to your family, tribe, group or clans of the nation that you come from. It means when you want to talk about accountability, collective achievement is extremely important. It is not just about accounting as an individual but accounting for the community as a whole”.
Continuing, he said: “Take for instance in community accountability setting, one is given permission to try only the things that serve the community or family as a whole. You will only be allowed to do certain things that will not bring a bad name to the family or community. It is not about self but about the collectives”.
Prof. Mainoma, who further maintained that individual accountability cultures often come with a sense of individual freedom, disclosed that in strong individual accountability cultures, parents raise children to pursue their own path and try to discover things for themselves, thereby making them to feel accountable to themselves for their opinions, growth, life direction, and career.
He however regretted that although most performance management systems in the world today have been designed in the context of individual accountability cultures, it often times become an issue as soon as management systems are deployed.
While maintaining that culture remains the ingredient that can make or deter development in any society, Mainoma said the ability of such societies to keep abreast of innovation and change depends on how open and adaptive their culture is, stressing that a society without peace and harmony cannot grow.
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