The Executive Secretary/CEO of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has stressed the need for media owners to strengthen cultural values in the country.

Dr. Ayakoroma made this known in a guest lecture, titled, “The Nigeria Project in the Media: A Cultural Perspective,” which he presented at the South-West Zonal Conference, Award of Excellence and Annual Public Lecture of Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers’ Union Of Nigeria (RATTAWU), held at the NUJ Press Centre, Adegbimile, Akure, Ondo State, on Wednesday 15th February, 2012.

The ES, who was represented by Mr. Louis Eriomala, the South-West Zonal Director of the Institute, gave an insight into the Nigerian geo-political entity in the West African sub-region, highlighting how Nigeria abandoned agriculture due to the 1956 discovery of crude-oil in Oloibiri, a community in the present day Bayelsa State.

He said that the media is an instrument through which information are passed to the general public, and that the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) has consistently partnered with the media at various events, recognising the fact that the media is a viable vehicle through which culture can be transported to the people, as they hold the search light to the promotion and propagation of culture.

Ayakoroma also reiterated the importance of language as a veritable tool to the media, emphasising that the language used by the media for communication is important in the delivery of message to the targeted audience; and said the broadcast of Hausa language programmes on Voice of Nigeria, BBC World Service and Radio Kaduna, among other media organs, had been invaluable in the enlightenment of the average Hausa/Fulani in Nigeria.

He made a critical analysis of the erosion of our cultural values as Africans, and regretted that culture is seen in a negative light by different religions.

He traced the origin of the media in Nigeria and stressed how the media play a vital role in opinion moulding and shaping the behavioural pattern of any society, and advised the media to be objective in their dealings and reportage.

With regard to Nigeria filmmakers, the ES advised them to produce films that would adequately promote our cultural values and urged them to be patriotic in projecting the Nigeria society to the outside world on one hand and the happenings in Nigeria to her people on the other hand.

In his words, “the Nigeria project is a laudable one that sees the nation rubbing shoulders with other world powers.”

He said that the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), through the establishment of NICO Cultural Clubs in Secondary Schools with the media as partners, can serve as a medium through which cultural values can be delivered to the younger generation.

He concluded his paper by saying, “The Nigerian dream of being among the top 20 economies in the world by the year 2020 will be just a dream if we fail to harness our vast cultural resources for equitable national development. It is imperative that the media organs contribute their quota towards the realisation of this laudable dream”.

On his part, Mr. Eriomala urged and sensitized RATTAWU members to be more proactive and abstain from yellow journalism and always carryout investigative journalism before publishing.

The event climaxed with an Award of Excellence on the Ondo State Governor, His Excellency, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, for his meritorious service to the people of Ondo State and the nation in general.

The occasion had in attendance, the National President of RATTAWU, Comrade Abel Oluyemisi Bamgbose, Secretary to the Ondo State Government, Mr. Rotimi Adenola, the Chief of Staff to the Ondo State Government, Dr. Kola Ademujimi, Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Union Matters, Comrade Dare Fadahunsi, and other dignitaries.

Corporate Affairs
South West Zone