Members of staff of the South-South Zonal office of the National Institute of Cultural Orientation (NICO) have been enjoined to show commitment and dedication to duty in order to achieve set-goals. These were part of the remarks made by the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, when he met with the staff of the Institute on Monday, March 7, 2011, at the South-South Zonal office located at No. 41, Imgbi Road, Amarata in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

Ayakoroma reminded them that the Zonal Office was set up so that the impact of the cultural sector would be felt at the grassroots, adding that he facilitated the location of the South-South zonal office in Bayelsa State during the tenure of his predecessor, Elder J.B. Yusuf, as there was no Federal presence of the culture sector in the State.

He advised the South-South staff to work assiduously to achieve the aims and objectives for which the zonal office had been set up, disclosing that he has been networking at the national level to organise programmes in collaboration with multinational Oil Companies and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and that the South-South Zone would be at an advantage if everybody would be committed to their civic responsibilities.

The Executive Secretary challenged the Research and Documentation Department to start a comprehensive documentation of the cultural heritage in the Zone, stating that there are a lot of festivals and cultural activities to be documented.

Dr. Ayakoroma also disclosed that NICO will open one State Office in each of the geo-political zones this year with the cooperation of the Governors. He said that it would mean having Liaison Officers in all the states of the Federation, adding that the present management has brought NICO to the consciousness of Nigerians but that there is still a lot to be done.

In furtherance of NICO’s aspiration to make its impact felt everywhere, the Executive Secretary also noted that, the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programmes of NICO may hold in other states even though the lectures would also hold at the zonal headquarters. This, according to him, will encourage other states in the various zones to show interest in NICO activities.

On Staff Promotion, the NICO Chief Executive said only those who understand the vision and mission statements of NICO and other relevant national issues will be considered for promotion.

He therefore advised staff to develop themselves by knowing what they need to know, whether or not they had relevant academic qualifications before they were employed, stressing that those who intend to hold higher offices after now must have attended NICO Training School, which is in the process of affiliating with the Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria.

Also speaking, the Deputy Director/SA to the Executive Secretary, Mr. Nelson Ebi Campbell, enjoined staff of the South-South zonal office to be disciplined. He advised them to shun rumour-mongering and indiscriminate text messaging, as the present management of the Institute is working for the interest of all staff.

He further said it was erroneous for any staff to think that once there is posting, it is for a punitive purposes, stressing that the Dr. Ayakoroma-led management of NICO has the welfare of staff at heart without any discrimination.

In his remarks, the Acting Director of Finance & Accounts, Mr. Godson Ordu, admonished those who had resorted to rumour peddling instead of being grateful to the Executive Secretary and the Management Staff. Mr. Ordu said since the inception of the Ayakoroma-led management, salaries and allowances are being paid promptly.

The meeting gave staff the opportunity to ask questions which were answered by the Executive Secretary. The meeting, which was the first formal meeting between the Executive Secretary and the South-South zonal Staff in their new office, was hosted by the Zonal Co-ordinator, Mr. Mike Ekoko.

Mr. Ekoko, in his closing remarks, was full of appreciation to the Executive Secretary and his entourage, and also thanked the Executive Secretary in particular, for the befitting office accommodation and furniture, which have enhanced job performance.     

Enock Etimighan
Corporate Affairs