The House of Representatives has said it will continue to give the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), the necessary support that will enable it to deliver on its mandate of re-orienting Nigerians towards a culture-oriented lifestyle.
This assurance was given in Abuja on Friday, October 5, 2012, at the Boardroom of the Institute, when the Hon. Muniru Abiodun-led House Sub-Committee on Culture and Tourism, visited NICO to perform their constitutional oversight function.
Unlike the usual oversight visits, where legislators look into implementation of overhead costs for agencies, the Committee was out this time, strictly, to investigate, verify and ascertain the level of implementation of capital budgets approved for agencies.
According to Hon. Muniru, “We are here on a fact finding mission by the resolution of the National Assembly and, particularly, the House of Representatives, stating that we should come and cross-check the actual picture of capital projects implementation. For the very first time, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, made it clear that the era of selective implementation of budget is over and the era of transformation is here.”
He commended NICO in the execution of projects captured in the capital budget so far, particularly, the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme, where he disclosed that the Committee had, from their last oversight function, conceded that the language programme was very crucial, considering the rate at which the nation is losing its languages and culture.
Further stressing that the programme should be sustained, as a sure way of reviving our cultures that are fast fading away, Hon. Muniru maintained that, “if there is such a government-sponsored project and a parastatal like NICO has the singular focus in achieving it, we should be able to focus on it and ensure that NICO promotes our indigenous languages to a reasonable extent.”
On the perimeter fencing at the permanent site of the Institute in Kuje, which was also captured in the capital projects, the legislators acknowledged that the leadership of the Institute was working hard in that direction and prayed that the project comes to completion during the present administration which they said will be a very big achievement, further disclosing that talks were ongoing with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to make provision for the access road leading to the Kuje site.
The legislators, however, charged the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, and his team, to work harder towards taking NICO to a higher level, stressing that part of the reason the Committee was out on the oversight function at this time was also to ascertain the capacity of agencies to deliver on their mandate, which, they emphasized, is crucial and very important to nation building.
The leader of the delegation also used the opportunity to call on the Executive arm of Government to see their decision to verify the implementation of capital budgets as a Nigerian project: “This is a patriotic move by the leadership and members of the House to see that as a nation, year in year out, we implement our budget faithfully. If this is achieved, the nation can develop its potentials in full and the assembly of unemployed youths in Nigeria would reduce,” he said.
Other Honourable members, who came for the oversight function are Hon. Idris Legbo Kutigi and Hon. Musa Ado, while the ES was supported by his Management staff, which included, Mr. F. N. Ihenetu (Director, Orientation & Cultural Affairs), Mr. Godson Ordu (Director, Finance & Accounts), Mr. Louis Eriomala (Director, Research & Documentation), Hon. Nelson Campbell (Deputy Director & SA to ES), Mr. Alex Omijie (Deputy Director, Protocol), and Mr. Mike Ekoko (Asst. Director, Research).