The management of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) has been tasked to pan its programmes and activities in 2012, more towards national integration, because Nigeria now, more than ever, needs national renaissance and the Institute has the mandate of carrying out the campaign.

This call was made by the Chairman, House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Hon. Ben Nwankwo, on Wednesday, 25th January, 2012, at the House Committee Hearing Room One, National Assembly Complex, Abuja, while responding to the 2012 proposed Budget of the Institute, by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma.

Speaking further, the House Committee Chairman stressed: “We can use culture to unite Nigeria and benefit from our diversity; so, NICO should pan into this angle now, to marry cultural as well as national integration together in its sensitization campaigns, activities and programmes, to re-orientate the consciousness of Nigerians, to make us know that we need each other, because the cultural norms, values, rich traditions and customs, which one region or ethnic group has, is not the same in the other region or ethnic group. Therefore, the country through NICO, needs to harness these various and diverse cultural endowments towards enhancing the unity of Nigerians and Nigeria.”

While commending the concept of Niconews, the in-house newsletters of the Institute, Hon. Nwankwo charged the Institute to widen the scope of its distribution to key stakeholders in the culture sector and to the general public, so that they would know about the Institute and what it is doing, to enable them key into the activities and programmes of the Institute.

According to him, this will go a long way in promoting the much needed attitudinal change for unity and national integration in the country.

Earlier, while making submissions for NICO’s 2012 Budget, the Executive Secretary had stated that because of the drastic reduction of its capital budget, the Institute has not been able to carry out most of its sensitization programmes.

He thus urged the lawmakers to look into the matter so that government can appropriate sufficient funds to help put the Institute on the right footing to carry out its statutory mandate of harnessing Nigeria’s culture for national integration and development.

On the Executive Secretary’s entourage to the National Assembly were the Director, Administration and Human Resources, Barr. Abayomi Oyelola mni, Director, Research and Documentation, Mr. Festus Ihenetu, Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Bamidele Olusa, Director, Finance and Accounts, Mr. Godson Ordu, and Asst. Director, Protocol, Mr. Alex Omijie.

Jonathan N. Nicodemus

Corporate Affairs