The Pioneer Vice Chancellor, Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Edo State, Professor Eghosa Osagie has described the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) as the most important Federal Government Institution in Nigeria
Stating this at the Technical Session of the Annual Roundtable on Cultural Orientation (ARTCO), which he moderated, Prof. Osagie said the mandate of cultural education and orientation, which NICO pursues vigorously, is a robust task that will direct the affairs of any nation in a positive direction and bring about sustainable development of humanity and the nation
The University scholar added that the Institute’s importance was unarguable because NICO’s task to harness Nigerian culture for national development was articulated in the Cultural Policy for Nigeria.
He said: “NICO is the most important Federal Government Institution in Nigeria. This is because it is a cultural institution that spearheads Nigerian cultural heritage to the extent that it uses its programmes to teach Nigerians everything about Nigerian culture ranging from the Food Culture, Dress Culture, Cultural Industries, Tourism, Culture Diplomacy, Indigenous language, Media and Communication Culture, Religions and Belief Systems, Performing and Visual Arts, Entertainment, Oral Performances, Music, Dance, Drama, Film, international relations, Festivals and carnivals, Cultural Practices among others.”
This Annual Roundtable on Cultural Orientation, according to him, is evidence of the efforts NICO making to put culture in the forefront of cultural re-engineering. As an Institute, he said, NICO is into innovative training, capacity building, research and documentation to equip Nigerians with the adequate knowledge on the theory and practice of Nigerian culture.
With all these, Prof. Osagie posited that NICO gives a sense of cultural direction and relationship to meet the challenges of social integration, unity, peace and national development. This, he averred, is achieved through programmes like this ARTCO, where University Scholars, culture experts and the stakeholders in the culture sector are brought together. He said the programme is well attended and thought provoking papers are presented and discussed. In his words, “indeed, there is really a mobilization of people to sensitize and promote positive Nigerian cultural values.”
Nwagbo Pat Obi
NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre