As the collaboration between National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) and Nasarawa State University Keffi (NSUK) is being actualised, the Vice- Chancellor, Professor Shamsdeen Amali, has said it as a very important venture which the University values so much.
Similarly, the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, who led a team of NICO staff to NSUK on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, for Affiliation talks said it is a landmark that in the annals of both institutions.
The VC, who immediately gave the directive that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) be put together, when he was briefed on the outcome of the meeting between NICO and NSUK, by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Academic), Professor James Otuka, said the University will be very glad to see the partnership mature into fruition.
According to Prof Amali: “This is a very important moment for us in this University. This is because this collaboration you have come for is important to us. We value it. We treasure it. Please, we will put up an excellent MoU together. I hope that when we achieve it, and when we are no longer here, those who will be here will value it the way we have valued it. Indeed it is a very nice development.’’
Dr. Ayakoroma, who praised the efforts of the Head of Department, Theatre and Cultural Studies, Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, in the preparatory stage of the collaboration, promised the VC that NICO will make the relationship mutually beneficial, adding that: “NICO, apart from carrying the University along in all our international programmes, will institute some academic prizes in the department to make the students to be proactive in the pursuit of their studies. NICO is really interested in Cultural Studies.’’
Earlier in the meeting, the ES who gave a brief on NICO, told the University team that the collaboration will go a long way as NICO will use its national and international might to bring NSUK close to the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, while NSUK will throw its academic might behind NICO.
Dr. Ayakoroma who appreciated the presence of key principal officers said: “We thought it wise that for NICO Training School to take its pride of place, we have to collaborate with a University. In this regard, we had to review our course content. Now, we have a tight programme that can stand the test of time. So, we decided to select NSUK, because it is the first University in Nigeria to have Theatre and Cultural Studies Department. National Universities Commission (NUC) and other regulatory bodies recognize NSUK. On our part, we have international connections. We offer courses leading to Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma in Cultural Administrations. NICO has assisted NSUK in many ways. We have also used the students in our programmes like Nigerian Dress Culture. So, the collaboration will be a right step in the right direction.’’
The ES called the attention of the team on how NICO had set up a curriculum committee headed by Professor Olu Obafemi. He told them how useful the Theatre and Cultural studies of NSUK had been to NICO. “The Institute recently set up a curriculum committee. Professor Olu Obafemi of University of Ilorin, now the Director of Research, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, headed it. They did a very good job. Professor Emma Danduara, the HOD, Theatre and Cultural Studies, NSUK, was a member. He has really been of tremendous help to NICO. In NICO, we have a sound academic board of 21 staffs and prominent part-time scholars from Nigerian Universities who power our courses.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor James Otuka, who responded stated that the activities of NICO are quite impressive. He commended the ES for the wise decision to choose NSUK for the collaboration, saying: “It was good you chose NSUK. We are impressed by the quality of what goes in NICO. Indeed the collaboration is a welcome development. We shall embrace it.’’
The team of the University included, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor James Otuka, Dean of Arts, Professor Omelo Ojima, Dean of Law, Dr. Maxwell Gidado, Head of Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies, Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, the Director of Academic Planning, Dr. (Mrs.) Fidelma Ukeje, the Diretcxor of Linkages, Dr. Fatima Othman, and the Bursar, Mr. Stephen Yakubu Azizi.
The ES was accompanied by a top management staff of NICO, namely, the Director, Training School, Mr. Innocent Azuobu; Barr. Abayomi Oyelola mni, Director, Administration and Human Resources; Deputy Director and SA to the ES, Mr. Nelson Campbell, Assistant Director, Protocol, Mr. Alex Omijie, and Assistant Director, Legal, Barr. Musa Kakamba.