Culture, A Veritable Tool For Development

Culture, A Veritable Tool For Development

By Florence Olanireti Adebayo

The river that forget it source is as the verge of drying off. Culture is the heart beat that define how we are as an individual and as a society (Joys Edward) it encompasses our shared values, beliefs, traditions, language and arts.

Culture celebrates our differences and highlights the beauty of our unique background, it encourages us to appreciate and respect the richness of other cultures as a nation.

Nigeria is  blessed and rich in diverse culture and endowed with much material information that can enrich and improve the peaceful coexistence of the Nation. Nigeria museum is saddled with the responsibility of curating both tangible and intangible material evidence in promoting peace and tranquility. The Nigeria museum held in trust the cultural wealth of the nation for all generation by its function and uniqueness, as well as it serves as the cultural conscience of the nation.

In present day, the pyramid growth in drug abuse, kidnapping prostitution and insurgences is fast and steadily claiming the lives of youth and threatening the peaceful co-existence of the country. Museums promote unity in the society using its resources to ensure understanding and appreciation of various group and culture that exist in the country using her education unit as a powerful tool for educating and fostering understanding to broaden the knowledge of our visitors/environment and promoting empathy which encourages open mindedness, tolerance and appreciation in vast spectrum of human experiences.

Through its cultural programs, language course, school programs and skills acquisition, museums bridge gap between people and reduce prejudice as we gain deeper understanding of one another. For example, museum collections will effect fostering of unity peace development community of the society and unite different ethnic groups making up the country and can reconcile conflict through various educational programs and activities that would sensitize collective goodwill of the nation.

However, this could be progressive achievement if there is a good working relationship between the museum and the ministry of Education with the aim of integrating museum studies in the education curriculum as this will enable children to have a deeper knowledge about their culture and this will give them a sense of belonging. It will also create an avenue to know about their indigenous art and industries when we catch them young. Using our cultural/natural heritage to influence the psyche and attitude of the people, promote peace and unity to sustain development.

Going by the decline trend in economic growth, unemployment and social ills in Nigeria today, it would be worthwhile as a nation to venture into the utilization of the nation’s cultural and national heritage as alternative means of promoting national development and creating peace and unity. Employment generation for the unemployed populace and which will enhance revenue generation for the country instead of concentrating solely on crude oil. However Nigeria cultural heritage resources will not on their own generate employment unless they are developed and announced to the world rather than anchoring them to tourism. The cultural sector ‘inclusive’ is a blessing in disguise if properly harness it will improve revenue generation and reduce dependency on oil production thereby leading to economy growth and development of the country.

Museum curating the cultural and natural heritage at her disposal collects, conserves, interpret, research and exhibition this materials both tangible and intangible heritage to teach and entertain the communities and its environment, thereby promoting unity through their various programs need to work with other authority in the cultural sector to improve indigenous language, promoting Nigeria dress culture, building orientation, hard work, respect for elders, and constituted authorities because language plays a vital in promoting and preservation of our cultural heritage.

It serves as a vehicle through which cultural knowledge is transmitted and shared. The use of English language in school and homes is leading to decline of many indigenous languages in many parts of Nigeria; this can lead to loss of cultural diversity if not attended to in some cases extinction of minor languages. On the other hand, the dress culture of a people is a major distinguishing factor of their culture, as it says a lot about the particular people.

Nigeria as a multi – cultural nation comprises also of diverse dress culture of her people, the most interesting aspect is that there is beauty in diversity and unity in diversity. Though the Nigerian dress culture is faced with challenges, particularly from effect from westernization and globalization. The indulgence in the use of western fabrics and materials has relegated our age long dress culture.

There is need therefore for re-orientation and recitation of our indigenous and ethnic value if we succeed beyond, we should strive hard to use our indigenous fabrics at national level and exporting them in commercial quantity. This tangible heritage must be preserved to boost our national pride and identity and also bring peace and prosperity of the nations.

Nigeria is blessed and rich in diverse culture and endowed with cultural information and it has the capacity to promote peace, unity and improve the economy through their various functions, thereby enhancing fast and speedy development.

Therefore, the leaders should strive to place the country’s museum in its rightful position with all necessary resources as one of the prime movers of the economy that promotes peace and unity using cultural and national heritage as a tool for nation’s development and growth.


– Adebayo, is Asst. Chief Curator National Museum, Minna



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