Gov. Rochas Okorocha
Paul Obi in Abuja

Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has pushed for the adoption of traditional method of oath taking in governance to curb corruption in the country.

Speaking as the guest lecturer at a quarterly public lecture organised by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) in Abuja, to grow the  economy, Okorocha contended: “It would be difficult for public office holders to siphon public money or abuse their offices if they were swore in with their deity, like ‘Ofo’ in Igbo or ‘Ogun’ in Yoruba.”

The governor who spoke on the topic: titled: ‘Promoting Culture, Developing the Economy: A Nigerian Perspective’, added that people, especially public office holders, no longer fear Bible and Qur’an that are currently being used because they know that God is merciful, and does not kill instantly.

“Our government must begin to adopt our culture in government if we must succeed. Even in the fight against corruption, our (traditional) practices of oath taking should be applied,” he called.

Okorocha insisted that rather than celebrate foreign language and culture, “Nigeria should celebrate her major languages to promote its cultural values.

“We must change our orientation and it must start from that. Our education system should be inline with our culture. I believe there is still hope, but we must go back to our culture.
“God has endowed us with brain but the problem is that we left our culture, which is who we are and we are chasing shadow,”  Okorocha stated.

Also, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, said Nigerians appetite for foreign goods and services was responsible for the current economic recession and poor economic growth in the country.
Muhammed said Nigerians must rescind from depending on foreign goods and services but look inward.

The minister called for collaboration among the federal, state and local governments as well as private sector to enhance entrepreneurship in the culture and tourism sector.
Muhammed stated that the imperative of the culture sector to economic diversification was also to encourage Made-in-Nigeria goods.

He said:  “There is no gainsaying the fact that, our appetite for foreign goods and services is a major factor in our economic meltdown.
“It is pertinent to state that the task of developing our economy is the responsibility of all Nigerians. The development will need can be through public-private -partnership (PPP) arrangement.

The Executive Secretary of NICO, Prof. Barclays Ayakoroma, called for economic diversification, adding that more attention should be paid to the culture sector.

“While we commend the attention being paid to the agriculture and solid mineral sectors currently, we make bold to say that the culture sector has better prospects if priority attention is given to it as many countries have done,” he said.
Ayakoroma said: “We recommend that the long awaited national endowment fund for the arts, in line with the cultural policy of Nigeria should be established as a matter of urgency, to provide the must-needed financial support for our creative industry

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