The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has observed that the impact of the Institute’s recently concluded national conference, with the theme, Culture, Peace and National Security in Nigeria: The Role of Traditional Rulers and Local Government Chairmen, is being felt across the country.
The ES, who stated this while briefing the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, said the purpose of the conference is yielding fruits to the extent that organisations, including the National Assembly, are focussing on peace and security in Nigeria, adding that because of its success, the NICO Annual Roundtable Conference on Cultural Orientation (ARTCO) this year was being planned as sequel to it.
The ES stressed: “ARTCO will focus on peace and security, like the past National Conference on Peace and Security. Where traditional rulers were invited and spoken to by Resource Persons, in the forthcoming ARTCO, we want a situation where the traditional rulers will be the Resource Persons, among themselves, so that they will talk to themselves, not other Resource Persons talking to them.”
Highlighting the programmes of the Institute from December 2011 to July 2012, Dr. Ayakoroma said in continuation of Bring Back the Book (BBB) initiative, launched by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, NICO focussed on Reading Culture in its ARTCO 2011 and the last Quarter 2011 Media Workshop, with the theme, “Media Strategies for Propagating the Book Culture in Nigeria.”
According to him, the 1st Quarter Media Workshop in Gombe State was with the theme; “Sustainable Culture and Tourism Promotion in Nigeria’s Democracy: The Imperative for the Media;” while the 2nd Quarter 2012 Media Workshop, focused on the theme, “Propagatıng Peace and Securıty through the Medıa: Agenda for Arts Wrıters and Edıtors,” noting that veteran and exprienced journalists and people in the academia were brought as resource persons in these workshops to impact knowledge on the practising journalists.
The ES further stated that the mandate of NICO is on harnessing Nigerian culture for national development, the Institute is affiliating its Training School with Nasarawa State University, Keffi, the only university in Nigeria, for now, running a degree programme in Theatre and Cultural Studies.
He informed that the Institute was opening a State Office in each of the geo-political zones, to ensure that programmes like the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), NICO Cultural Clubs in Secondary Schools, Documentation of Traditional Stools in Nigeria, among others, to get to all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
In his response, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Ahmed Hassan Barata, commended the briefing of the Executive Secretary, describing it as a wonderful presentation, adding: “You are really trying in your programmes; we can see that there are challenges. But I am happy that NICO is working hard towards its mandate. I am happy with your indigenous language programmes. But I suggest you look at other languages that are almost going into extinction in Nigeria. I mean, the languages that are not popular. I commend your efforts in trying to spread offices across the country. I want you to make more efforts.”