The Executive Secretary (ES), National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has lauded the Federal Government’s adoption of “Dress Nigerian Day,” which will be launched in February/March 2013, as part of activities lined up for Nigeria’s Centenary celebration, saying that it was in line with the Institute’s proposal and campaign on “Promoting Nigerian Dress Culture.”
Dr. Ayakoroma, who disclosed this when he paid a courtesy call on the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okogie, in his office in Abuja, expressed satisfaction with the adoption of the proposal by the Presidency, adding that the National Council for Tourism, Culture and National Orientation (NCTCNO) had, in 2010, approved a memo by the Institute requesting the Federal Government to declare “Dress Nigeria Days,” as a systematic approach to promoting Nigerian dress culture, national identity and pride, among civil and public servants.
His words: “We are happy that in the proposed programme of the Centenary, government has adopted our proposal and Mr. President is going to launch the ‘Dress Nigeria Days’ between February and March 2013; that will be a morale booster for us, because for us in NICO, we make it mandatory for staffers to observe ‘Dress Nigeria Days’ on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.”
Further disclosing the purpose of the courtesy visit on the leadership of NUC, Ayakoroma said there was the need to discuss the place of Nigerian indigenous languages in the nation’s university system, saying; “if our children go abroad to study in some countries and they are forced to learn their indigenous languages before they study, there is no reason why Nigerian indigenous languages could not be part of our General Studies courses. We believe that this will go a long way in generating interest in our local languages.”
Maintaining that language as an aspect of a people’s culture is very important in transmitting the way of life of the people, from generation to generation, Ayakoroma said that at the NICO Training School, Lagos, where the Institute runs Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma programmes in Cultural Administration, the study of Nigerian Indigenous Languages has been made compulsory, and that students are expected to learn a language, other than their own, so as to make them generate interest in Nigerian languages.
He expressed optimism that if the university system can make the study of Nigerian languages compulsory, as part of General Studies, it will go a long way to ameliorate the situation, and disclosed that the Institute had already put in place, a long vacation Nigerian indigenous language programme for children, which is gradually building them as true Nigerians for the future, adding that apart from the language programme, NICO also had cultural clubs in secondary schools, where children are made to learn or pick up interest in Nigerian dress culture, food culture, hairstyling, Nigerian songs and dances, among others.
On the Management Team of the NUC was the Executive Secretary, Professor Julius Okogie, Director Students Support Department, Hajiya Yahaya Uwani, Deputy Director & Chief of Staff to the ES, Mr. Christopher Mayaki, Deputy Director (Research & Innovations), Dr. Ruqayyatu Gurin, Ag. Director (Inspection & Monitoring), Mrs. Hafsatu Abechi, Ag. Director (Open & Distance Learning), Dr. Raymond Yusuf, and Ag. Director (Academic Standards), Mrs. Florence Ashe Madahwn.
The NICO Boss, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, was accompanied by the Director, Orientation & Cultural Affairs, Mr. Festus Ihenetu, Deputy Director/SA to ES, Hon. Nelson Campbell and Deputy Director (Protocol), Mr. Alex Omijie.