Stakeholders in the culture sector in Nigeria have described the 1st Convocation Ceremony of NICO Training School as a remarkable event, saying they are proud of the Institute because it is achieving its mandate.
Those who spoke include University lecturers, traditional rulers, civil servants, journalists, filmmakers, top government functionaries, culture administrators and the graduands, among whom were the Director of Research, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru-Jos, Plateau State, Professor Olu Obafemi, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Redeemer’s University, Professor Ahmed Yerima, the Head, Department of Theatre & Cultural Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, the Arts Editor, The Sun Newspaper, Mr. Sola Balogun, and a civil servant, Mr. Henry Ndubuisi, among others.
Professor Obafemi said NICO has continuously shown what it means for a people to embrace their culture, adding that: “the convocation is an indication that cultural knowledge can merge with academic knowledge. With the certificate, people can make themselves very useful to the society. Honestly, the ES, Dr. Ayakoroma is giving the Institute, the academic attention it deserves.”
On his part, Professor Yerima expressed his joy over what he described as the success NICO was registering, stating: “I must say that I am particularly happy over the convocation today. NICO has recorded history by this. I was in Government when the journey of a Nigerian cultural training Institute started and NICO was established by Act 93 of 1993 by the Federal Government of Nigeria in accordance with the objectives of the United Nation’s declared World Decade for Cultural Development (WDCD) (1988-1997). I am most happy because, NICO has really shown that the Institute has come of age. I am proud of the Institute. I congratulate the ES for this feat. I am proud of everything going on in NICO, because it shows that there is a bright future for culture in Nigeria.”
Also speaking, Professor Dandaura stated that he was proud that it was in his department NICO is affiliated in NSUK, noting that: “The Institute has a great potential and Dr. Ayakoroma, as the ES, is determined to showcase that potential. So, the Convocation today is an indication that NICO is going places. My department is proud of the Institute.”
Sola Balogun, who is also the President of Arts and Culture Writers Association of Nigeria (ACWAN), described the convocation as an event that has shown the scholarly profile of NICO Training School, adding: “As a journalist, who has covered the arts and culture beat for a long time in Nigeria, I must tell you that the convocation is a big event to the culture sector. You can see the Honourable Minister saying that the event was very important to Nigerian culture, as such it was not an event he would delegate somebody to represent him. I commend the ES and his team on the way they are really administering NICO. They are really giving the place a powerful prominence. The relationship they have with the arts and culture journalists in Nigeria is quite commendable. The Media Workshop the Institute organizes for arts and culture editors and reporters in Nigeria is laudable.”
One of the graduands, Mr. Henry Ndubuisi, who is a staff of National Theatre, Lagos, asserted the convocation had proved the reality of the certificate and knowledge the graduands obtained in the Institute, saying: “there is a great potential in the Training School. Having passed through the School, I want to recommend that all Nigerians need it. In fact, I am suggesting that before anybody becomes Ambassador of Nigeria in any country, the person must pass through NICO Training School. The course, called, Cultural Diplomacy is one course that will expose good picture of Nigerian culture and how to sell and showcase it outside Nigeria to the Ambassadors. If politicians attend NICO Training School, Nigerian political culture will change. I appeal that those of us, who have passed through the school, should be adequately utilized. I must express my joy to the ES of NICO, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma. He taught me in the University of Port Harcourt. He is a man who does not joke with success. So, I am happy with the quality he has added to the Training School.”
It will be recalled that the 1st Convocation Ceremony of NICO Training School took place on Saturday, 17 August 2013, a day that also marked the 20th Anniversary of the Institute.
Nwagbo Pat Obi