Dr. Ayakoroma with Dr. NguThe Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has restated his commitment to actualising all the sensitisation programmes of the Institute and has solicited the support and collaboration of the Abuja Office of UNESCO.

Dr. Ayakoroma stated this during a courtesy call on the UNESCO Director/Country Representative, Dr. Joseph Ngu, at the United Nation House, Abuja.

He said that since creation of NICO was an initiative of UNESCO, the visit was more of a family affair to discuss cultural related issues and for him to intimate the UNESCO Director/Country Representative on some programmes of the Institute.

According to Dr. Ayakoroma, some of the Institute’s major programmes include, the just concluded workshop on Promoting Nigerian Dress Culture, which was to re-direct the youths and parents on indecent dressing that has pervaded various age groups in Nigeria; a proposed workshop for Cultural Attachés in Embassies in Nigeria; organization of a one-day cultural orientation workshop for new expatriate staff of LAFARGE Cement Company, Ewekoro, Abeokuta, in order to expose them to the cultural environment of their host country; the one-month intensive Indigenous Language Programme, organized to provide opportunity for families, especially children that are products of inter-tribal marriages to learn and speak their native Languages in their homes; and the Annual Round Table Conference on Cultural Orientation (ARTCCO), which will still focus on Nigerian Dress Culture.

He therefore urged the Abuja Office of UNESCO to partner with the Institute on the Workshop for Cultural Attaches, Indigenous Language Programme scheduled for August, and ARTCCO 2010.

Responding, the Director/Country Representative, Dr. Joseph Ngu, appreciated the visit of Dr. Ayakoroma and his team, and explained that UNESCO is not just for educational development, but that its activities cut across education, communication, and cultural development.

Dr. Ngu stated that he has been a great supporter of culture, but regretted that Nigerians hardly promote their culture like other Western States and Asia, noting that he had learnt a lot from Nigerian video films, especially those that deal on traditional African culture.

He commended the efforts of the Institute in organizing such laudable programmes and pledged to participate in the Indigenous language programme come August, since he had had interest in learning Hausa language before now.

According to him, the Abuja Office of UNESCO will support the Institute, but noted that such assistance may not be substantial as all the activities of the Country Office had been budgeted for 2010-2011.

He however advised the Executive Secretary to channel subsequent requests to the National Commission for UNESCO, and that if NATCOM recommends such submissions, they would receive positive attention.

On the visit with the Executive Secretary, were the Director of Orientation & Cultural Affairs, Prince Dele Olusa, the SA to the ES, Mr. Ebi Campbell, and the Asst. Director (Protocol), Mr. Alex Omijie.

Iyadunni Adelabu-Idris
Corporate Affairs