By Rebecca Ejifoma
To address economic challenges occasioned by COVID-19 outbreak, the CEO of Connecting Lagos, Idris Aregbe, has urged the Federal Government to look inward for homegrown strategies to put the economy into proper shape.
Aregbe, who is also the founder of Culturati, recommended that for a solution that can boost and sustain the nation’s economic status, the cultural values of transparency, accountability, trustworthiness must be entrenched within the society.
He argued that Nigeria, like other African countries, could build a strong and effective economy but must ensure that it was based on its homegrown cultural values that had attracted the world to the continent earlier.
The Culturati boss made these remarks in a statement he issued on Friday after a thorough assessment of the economic challenges that was confronting the country since outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Despite claims from some quarters that the unemployment ratio cannot immediately reduce, Aregbe, who understands latent economic potentials in the African culture, stressed that home grown strategies could be spiced up by attributes that underpin rapid success of a number of developed countries and that it must take root in the country.
“To improve its economies, the culture of good governance cannot be seen as a distant luxury, to be aspired but avoided in practice. In order to, not just boost economic development but sustain such, the all important cultural values must be in place and must be governed by transparency, accountability, trustworthiness and empowerment.
“Each individual African country can build its own economy based on its home-grown cultural values. The successes of African films (Nollywood) and African music are instructive”, he added.
Specifically, Aregbe, suggested that innovative, entrepreneurial and forward-looking people in the country should be engaged to raise awareness on the need for education and for a change in negative attitudes and values, in the drive to boost economic development.
As support for the government, he disclosed that Culturati had expanded its reach and established an academy that would reduce COVID-19 threat on the country’s economy.
Aregbe added that the academy was designed to assist the government reduce unemployment rate that increased after the virus spread to Nigeria.
According to him, the academy was conceived to redeem the time by turning people’s passion into profit and open African cultural market to the world.
He added: “In the light of this, augmented by the negative ripple effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become necessary to look inwards in finding new ways of creating value and stemming the tide of its effects as we look ahead in optimism towards a post-pandemic economy; a logic that informed the launch of Culturati academy.”
He listed free courses offered by the academy to include Photography, Catering, videography, Hair-Dressing, Fashion , Designing, Arts and Crafts, Modelling, Painting, Dancing, Acting, Make-up, Script-writing, Business Management.
The Connecting Lagos boss opined that the initiative stands “in tandem with that vision, while also complementing the intervention activities of the ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment in the state to tackle unemployment, promote job creation, entrepreneurship and skill development in the State”.