The members of Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA) have commended the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) for taking cultural matters in Nigeria very seriously.

The National President of the umbrella body of theatre scholars in Nigeria, Professor Emma Dandaura, who made the commendation during a Workshop on “The Mapping Exercise for Creative/Entertainment Industry in Nigeria,” held in Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), from 19-20 July, 2011, praised NICO, under leadership of Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, saying that there is no event or forum in the culture sector, where the presence of NICO is not registered.

Professor Dandaura, who is also the Head, Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), said that NICO will play a very significant role in the workshop and the entire process of mapping of the Nigerian Cultural Industry, stressing: “In the teams we will eventually constitute, NICO will play a vital role as partners with agency like UNESCO with SONTA as the coordinating body.’’

Professor Jenks Okwori from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, observed that with NICO in the workshop as a Government Agency, it would be wise that the issue of mapping is given prominence to the Institute because when that is done, Government attention will be drawn as it is expected that NICO will represent the idea very well to Government.

On his part, the Head, Department of Theatre and Performing Arts, ABU, Zaria, Professor Samuel Kafewo, admitted that the ES, NICO, is doing very well in the cultural sector, especially his interest in the promotion of theatre activities in Nigeria. “I must say that Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma is doing well. He is relating with theatre scholars very well. We feel his impact. He is promoting the theatre very well with NICO. It is quite commendable. Let him keep it up.’’

The title of the exercise was eventually changed from “The Mapping Exercise for Creative/Entertainment Industry in Nigeria to “Mapping the Nigerian Cultural Industry: A Proposal,” with the reasoning that the cultural industry covers both creative and entertainment Industries.

Other participants from Nigerian Universities present in the Workshop include Professor Dauda Enna (UNIJOS), Professor Steve Abah (NSUK), Professor (Mrs.) Ebele Amali, Professor  John Egwugwu Illah (UNIJOS), Professor Sunday Ododo (University of Maiduguri, UNIMAID), Dr. Alex Asigbo (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, NAU), Dr. Tracie Uto-Ezeajugh (NAU), Dr. Tor Iorapuu (UNIJOS), Mr. Chikada Daniel (NSUK), Anthony Ogande (NSUK), Fashola Dare (NSUK), and Jerry Amiromanor (NSUK).

Jane Anigala and Nwagbo Nnenyelike

NICO, Abuja