The former arts editor of The Guardian, popularly known as “the father of arts journalism in Nigeria”, Mr. Ben Tomoloju, has stated that national development should be an imprint on the people’s culture because sustainable development is driven by culture.
Stating this in his paper, titled, “Culture and the media in the transformation agenda: An overview,” at a national media workshop, organized by national institute for cultural orientation (NICO), at Merit House, Maitama-Abuja, Ben T. (as he is fondly called) explained that the media had to respect the culture of Nigerians in order to carry them along in the task of impacting on their consciousness built on a home-grown initiative like the transformation agenda.
The former arts writer explained that the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is a noble and excellent work plan, which should be directed towards capturing grassroots development of our indigenous science and technology, medicine and improving our indigenous agriculture and life style.
He emphasized that the media had a leadership role to play in translating cultural perceptions to cultural responsibility, in order to use the transformational vision in motivating the populace towards positive action, thereby transforming the Nigerian personality and transforming the country.
In her paper, titled, “Developing media strategies for organisational growth in the culture sector,” Professor Mabel Evwierhoma of the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Abuja, urged arts writers to take advantage of the internet and the social media networks in promoting and projecting our culture well to the international community.
She noted that NICO was the cultural academy of government, therefore, should align the promotion of culture with its consumption, adding that the media strategies of cultural agencies should be developed in order to maximize the gains of marketing Nigerian culture internationally.
Another university don, Dr. Charlie Nwekeaku of the Department of Public Administration, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), presenting a paper, titled, “Promoting the transformation agenda: The role of the media in the cultural agencies,” advised that the media should partner more actively with the cultural agencies in propagating the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan because the cultural agencies have the mandate to promote and project the agenda to the citizens.
Earlier in his remarks, the chairman of the technical session, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, the Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), noted that the aim of the workshop was to enable participants to appreciate the role culture and the media play in the society, promote a better understanding on the role of the culture sector in the transformation agenda, enable participants to understand the Freedom of Information (FoI) Law as it affects the culture sector, identify effective media strategies for improving the programmes and activities of cultural agencies, enhance participants understanding of the cultural dimension in press and media relations in a developing economy and improve their core communication competence and create a close national media communication network.
Ayakoroma therefore urged participants to utilize the knowledge they will acquire in the intellectual activity to improve their work performance.
The workshop, which was hosted by the Acting Director in the office of the ES/SA to the ES, Mr. Nelson Campbell, had the immediate past executive secretary of the Institute, Elder J. B. Yusuff, in attendance.
NICO South-South Zonal office