The Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has re-emphasized the importance of culture to national development, noting that the nation’s cultural potentials have not been properly harnessed to drive our development initiatives because of poor cultural administration in Nigeria.

Dr. Ayakoroma, who made this assertion while delivering his Welcome Address at the 2nd edition of the NICO Annual Public Lecture, at the Cinema Hall of National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, said the event is part of the Institute’s core programmes to promote value orientation and provide a sense of cultural direction for national growth.

On his part, the Chairman of NICO Governing Board, Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim Ganyama, represented by Professor Bola Akinteriwa, Director-General of Nigerian Institute for International Affairs (NIIA), thanked the management of NICO, for re-directing the attention of the public to Arts and Culture through this public lecture.

In his address, the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, represented by Mr. Daniel Tifato, a Director in the Ministry, appreciated the efforts of NICO, by ensuring they live up to their mandate through her laudable programmes, and challenged other parastatals under the Ministry to brace up to the challenges of their mandate.

According to the Minister, the lecture series organized by NICO was in tandem with the Vision 20:2020 and Millennium Development Goals, which also aim at diversifying the country’s economy, outside oil, through other means like the Culture sector.

Delivering his paper, titled, “Katanfuru: The Illogic of Culture-Nomics in Nigerian Cultural Administration,” the guest lecturer, Professor Olusegun Ojewuji of South Illinois University, Carbondale, USA, paid glowing tribute to Dr. Ayakoroma, whom he said had started this great task of national campaign for cultural orientation and therefore called on corporate bodies, elected officials and key members of all sectors of the Nigeria nation to spend time at the NICO Training School.

Making some recommendations that would take culture to another level, Professor Ojewuyi canvassed for a cultural dialogue among parastatals in the Culture, Tourism and National Orientation with other arms of government, adding that the number of parastatals in the Ministry are many and needed to be pruned down in order to ensure efficiency.

The one day public lecture, which had as theme: “The Economics Cultural Administration in Nigeria: Leapfrogging Through the Dark Tunnel,” is one of the many programmes of NICO under the leadership of Dr. Ayakoroma, aimed at ensuring a deeper  understanding and appreciation of the place of Culture and Arts in the economic development of Nigeria.


Uche Odionye
NICO Training School