The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okogie, has said that the Commission and the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) can collaborate, because culture cannot be separated from the activities of the Commission.
Prof. Okogie, who stated this when the Executive Secretary, NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, paid him a courtesy call at NUC Headquarters, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, said that the duty of the Commission is to regulate the activities of Nigerian Universities, and that the problem with Nigerians is that many people violate the laws of the land, adding that part of this problem is because our culture is being neglected.
According to him, it is through adhering to Nigerian cultural values that many ills can be addressed, adding, “NUC is insistent on standard. We want the standard of Nigerian education to be the same in all the Nigerian universities. We have looked at the curriculum of the universities in terms of teaching. We have started introducing new programmes. Some of the programmes will enable the graduates to get jobs the moment they graduate. We do not want a situation where the graduates come out and they will not get jobs.”
Continuing, Professor Okogie commended Nigerian students, saying that Nigerians are doing well: “I was just told that a Nigerian was the best graduating student in Agriculture in New York University. We have initiated a scholarship for first class graduates in Nigerian universities to go to any university of their choice in the world. We have about 101 that will soon come out and join in the development of Nigerian education. So, without being well-behaved, such students will not perform well. Culture is very important.”
In his remarks, the ES, NICO, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, commended NUC for its laudable activities towards taking Nigerian University education to the greater heights, informing that NICO, which was established in August 1993, is preparing to roll out the drums to celebrate its 20th Anniversary.
Ayakoroma used the opportunity to also highlight the Institute’s programmes, saying that NICO wants to give serious attention to its Nigerian Indigenous Language programme (NILP), pointing out that Nigerian Universities need to add Nigerian Indigenous Languages to their General Studies Courses, since Nigerians studying abroad are made to learn the languages of the host countries.
Continuing, he informed that the NICO Quarterly Natıonal Medıa Workshop for Arts Wrıters and Edıtors, Promoting Nigerian Dress Culture, in addition to CultureScope: A Journal of NICO, are some major programmes of the Institute in 2013, adding that staffers of NICO observe Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, as Dress Nigeria Days, as a deliberate policy of management to encourage Nigerians to patronise made-in-Nigeria dresses.
“NUC is supposed to be on the Governing Board of NICO. İt is just that the Board is yet to be reconstituted by President Goodluck Jonathan. So, we want to collaborate with the Commission to make culture a serious thing in the Nigerian education and the entire country. NICO is affiliated to Nasarawa State University, Keffi. They are the first university in Nigeria to run Theatre and Cultural Studies. We have a Training Institute in Lagos and the permanent site in Kuje is under construction. We are into serious research. So, there are areas we can come together and partner,” he added.
Nwagbo Pat Obi