The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has called on media practitioners in the country, to give maximum coverage of all NICO programmes to the general public, so that the impact of such programmes will be felt at the grass-root.
Dr. Ayakoroma made this call in the Board room of the Institute’s head office in Abuja, on Wednesday, 19th September, 2012, during a formal press briefing on the forthcoming National Workshop on Culture in the Transformation Agenda, being organized by the Institute in collaboration with Leading Edge Academy, Abuja.
The theme of the workshop is, “Culture and the Socio-economic Transformation of Local Governments in Nigeria: Setting an Agenda for Development,” and it is scheduled to take place on the 8th and 9th of October, 2012, at the Main Auditorium, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Central Business District, Abuja.
Briefing the media, the ES stated that the Institute is embarking on this programme to specifically sensitize key players in the local government system to appreciate the place of cultural industries and tourism in the socio-economic development of Nigeria at the grass-root level, noting that the programme, like the last NICO National Conference for Traditional Rulers and Local Government Chairmen, on the theme, “Culture, Peace and National Security,” aims at sensitizing Nigerian leaders, at the third tier of government, to the importance of using cultural approaches towards the development of the country, because the sector is an essential aspect of our national life.
Speaking further, he said, the Institute recognizes the important role of leaders at the local government level, which is why NICO is once again looking at the critical role of these officials in President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda, stating that, a critical examination of most of the problems Nigeria is facing today would show that they are tied to the issues of development and governance.
Dr. Ayakoroma, however, opined that, if our youths see good developmental projects springing up in our local government areas, some of the angst that is being exhibited would be reduced considerably, and that it explains why the Institute initiated the workshop as a platform where Local Government Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Executive Chairmen, as well as Chairmen and Commissioners of Local Government Service Commissions across the country, would come together to appraise the situation and explore ways of developing the sector through a cultural perspective.
According to him, the workshop will expose participants to global trends in the effective management of local governments and also explore ways and means of development, stating also that the workshop would look at how local governments across the country have been able to key into the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) projects in their domains.
The ES noted that, the workshop is NICO’s modest contribution towards helping the third tier of government in developing the country in line with the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and called on other organizations to also look at other aspects, where they can come in to help out as they pertain to effective local government administration in Nigeria.
Dr. Ayakoroma appreciated the arts journalists for their steadfast co-operation and coverage of NICO programmes and activities, without which, he noted, there would neither be interest by the general public in NICO’s programmes nor maximum participation at its workshops and seminars, and called on them not to relent in their efforts, as the Institute would continue to depend on their support in achieving its mandate of sensitizing Nigerians toward living culture-oriented lifestyles and harnessing Nigeria’s culture for national development.
Jonathan N. Nicodemus