altWelcome Address By The Executive Secretary, National Institute For Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, On The Occasion Of The NICO National Media Workshop For Arts Writers/Editors, Held On Thursday, April 18, 2013, At Nigerian Institute Of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos.

It gives me enormous pleasure to welcome you all to the 9th edition of the National Media Workshop series for Arts Writers and Editors, with the theme “Culture as a Panacea for Peaceful Co-existence in a Multi-ethnic Nation: The Role of Media” organized by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), in furtherance of its statutory mandate.

The Media Workshop was conceptualised in year 2010 as a platform for Arts Writers and Editors to have robust interaction, exchange ideas, and engage in peer review, in order to enhance their overall professional competence, which is of critical importance to nation building.

I am therefore pleased to inform you that NICO will not only sustain this platform, but has plans to upgrade it as one of its core programmes, in appreciation of the strategic role of the media in the promotion of our cherished cultural values. We have also concluded plans to expand the scope of the programme to give recognition and awards to deserving Arts Writers and Editors, for their outstanding contributions to our cultural development.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, Nigeria’s multi-ethnic and religious composition has been a serious challenge to national development. It is disheartening to note that over five decades after our political independence, most Nigerians still have fastidious attachment to their ethnic origins to the detriment of national unity. Rather than celebrate our unique cultural identities, emphases are still placed on our ethnic and cultural differences.

It is the contention of peace and development experts that the present ethnic, political and religious intolerance in Nigeria can best be addressed if the media is encouraged to play a vital role in educating the citizenry on the immense benefits of embracing peaceful co-existence. The media can help promote and project our rich cultural values of honesty, hard work, sanctity of human life, respect for elders and constituted authority, unity in diversity, and love for our dear country.

At this juncture, I wish to express my profound gratitude to Art Writers and Editors, who have identified with us and supported our vision for a better Nigeria, through proactive and responsible journalism.

Special thanks to our distinguished Guests, who have taken time out of their busy schedule to honour our invitation. I believe the resource persons will bring their wealth of experience to bear in their presentations

I wish you all a very rewarding workshop experience.

Thank you for your attention.