The leader of the House Sub-Committee on Culture and Tourism, deployed on oversight function to the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Hon. Hakeem Muniru, has rated the Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma-led management of the Institute, high on the 2012 capital budget implementation.
Hon. Muniru, who gave this rating in the Board room of the Institute on Friday, 5th October, 2012, when he led other members of the Sub-Committee on oversight function to the Institute, stated that they were on a fact-finding mission to investigate and verify the actual releases of capital budget and the level of implementation by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, under their supervision.
After listening to a detailed explanation by the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, on the capital budget releases, the leader of the team said, “You have not done poorly and though we are not yet there, but for now, I say well-done, in terms of your achievements.”
He, however, decried the meagre budget of the Institute and the fact that, only about forty-eight percent of the Institute’s total budget for the year had been released from the federation account, in the first three quarters of the year, noting that, a very important parastatal like NICO, mandated with reviving, promoting and preserving Nigeria’s cultural heritage, needs to be adequately funded and supported.
Speaking further, Hon. Muniru charged the Executive arm of government to fully support the programmes and activities of the Institute, noting that, “we are losing our indigenous languages and our culture, therefore, the Executive arm ought to support NICO programmes, such as the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), with adequate funds, so that it would achieve the desired result.”
He also called on the ES not to relent in his efforts at moving the Institute to greater heights, noting that, “if you have been able to do this much, despite the paucity of funds, it means you can do more. So, we urge you to forge ahead and carve a niche for yourself and leave your footprints in the sands of time.”
Lending voice to the Team Leader’s appraisal of the Institute’s achievements, Hon. Idris Legbo Kutigi, assured NICO management of the Committee’s total support, stating that, “we will be hundred percent behind you in your programmes, especially, your pet project, the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme;” adding that, “we will lobby other members of the House to ensure that more funds are allocated for this project, the NILP, considering its relevance in safeguarding Nigeria’s culture,” because language is the vehicle that drives a people’s culture and a loss language will result in the ultimate loss of the people’s culture.
Also speaking, Hon. Musa Ado reiterated the Committee’s readiness to assist NICO in meeting its mandate of harnessing the country’s culture for national development, assuring that, “we are ready to support you to whatever level you want to go in promoting our culture.”
Earlier, the ES had welcomed the Committee Members to the Institute, giving a detailed analysis of the capital budget releases and implementation, disclosing that the Institute was handicapped in terms of funds and can hardly sustain its programmes, stressing that, “to achieve most of our programmes, we often go cap in hand begging for funds.”
He further informed them of the Institute’s planned programmes and activities, which are left pending, because of scarcity of resources, like the Nigeria Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), which had not been taken to the extent the Institute wants it to go, the Weekend Language Programme, and Language in the Barracks, which had all not been achieved due to lack of adequate funds.
According to the ES, Language in the Barracks aims at teaching children in the barracks our indigenous languages, because of the high rate of inter-ethnic marriages and the fact that the barracks are mini-representations of Nigeria, with many ethnic groups living together.
The ES also informed the House Committee members that, the Institute have the capacity to produce audio-visual materials to aid the study of the various Nigerian indigenous languages, as well as making the NICO’s website interactive, by creating web pages for the various indigenous languages for the general public, but for lack of funds, and, therefore, appealed to the relevant authorities to do more in this regard, stating that, “though we are not very satisfied with the situation as it is presently, we hope it would improve.”
Jonathan N. Nicodemus