The Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri  Ayakoroma, is at the South Illinois University, Carbondale (USA), for collaborative meetings between NICO  and SIUC.

In a meeting with the Dean of Liberal Arts, SUIC, Professor Alan Vaux, the Executive Secretary gave a brief  on NICO, its mandate and core programmes, such as the Nigerian Dress Culture, Nigerian Indigenous  Language Training, NICO Cultural Clubs, among others, and stressed the need for the University to  collaborate the Institute.

Dr. Ayakoroma also solicited the support of the University in respect of sponsoring capacity building  workshops for staff and other cultural agencies to enhance the Institute’s commitment to achieving the  mandate of harnessing culture for national development.

He noted that the academic training programme of the Institute in Lagos, Nigeria, is gaining momentum, and that the Institute has initiated “Dress Nigerian Day,” at the federal government level, in furtherance of its internal staff dress policy of appearing in native attires on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, every week.

In his response, Dean of Liberal Arts, Professor Alan Vaux, thanked the Executive Secretary for the visit and promised to assist NICO in achieving its set goals and programmes through the necessary collaboration.

He commended Dr. Ayakoroma for displaying the right attitude and determination to succeed, noting that the University is set to retain the traditions of the people, hence the change from Institute for Black American Studies to Institute for Africana Studies.

The Executive Secretary also held meetings with other principal officers of the University such as the Dean, College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, Professor Gary Kolb, and the Director of the School of Journalism, Professor William Freivogel, as well as Professor Uche Onyebadi, also of the School of Journalism.

In their various responses, they collectively agreed to do everything possible to collaborate with NICO to execute various programmes, especially an International workshop on the Cultural Imperatives in Good Governance being proposed by NICO, the Quarterly Media Workshop for Arts Writers/Editors, as well as capacity building training programmes for staff of the Institute.

The high point of the meetings for the day was an evening session: “One-on-One with Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma,” a platform designed for the Executive Secretary to have an interactive session with some principal officers and students of the University.

Of interest is that Dr. Ayakoroma had the opportunity of interacting with Professor John McCall, who had also done some research work on Nollywood, which is the focus of the doctoral work of the ES.

The day ending with a screening of Maroko, a movie directed by Femi Odugbemi, who is also in the University for the screening of some of his works, as part of activities marking the Black History Month in SIUC.

Facilitated for SUIC by Professor Segun Ojewuyi, the ES is accompanied on the visit by the Deputy Director/Special Asst to the ES, Mr. Nelson Campbell, and he is expected to be in the Valparaiso University, Indiana, next week for collaborative talks before returning to Abuja, Nigeria.