The Team Leader and Sub-Committee Chairman, House Committee on Culture & Tourism, National Assembly, Hon. Hakeem Abiodun Muniru, has said that the Committee’s Oversight Visit to the headquarters of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), was to ascertain the level of implementation of the Institute’s mandate, especially the 2013 appropriations and to prepare grounds for the next fiscal year.
Hon. Muniru, who was in company with other committee members on the oversight function to the Institute’s headquarters located at No. 23, Kigoma Street, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, was responding to a PowerPoint presentation made by the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, on the activities of the Institute for the period under review.
He affirmed that having seen the presentation made by the NICO Boss, there was no doubt that the Institute was on the right track in fulfilling its mandate, but expressed displeasure with the inability of the Director of Finance & Accounts, Mr. Godson Ordu, to submit the report earlier to give members ample time to peruse the documentation.
Earlier in his presentation, the ES, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, enumerated the programmes and activities organised by the Institute in 2013, surmising that, “the year 2013 has been quite eventful as far as NICO is concerned.”
Ayakoroma expatiated on the maiden edition of the Institute’s Training School Matriculation and Convocation ceremonies, held in February and August, respectively, informing that the Annual Public Lecture had been refocused as a Convocation Inaugural Lecture, and that all the aforementioned events were well attended by culture stakeholders and the academia.
He stated that the zonal offices (Lagos, Akure, Yenagoa, Owerri, Yola, Katsina, and Ilorin) and the four new State offices (Enugu, Ibadan, Gombe and Minna) are all functional and have recorded tremendous progress, adding that the Sokoto State Office will become functional by January 2014, while efforts will be intensified to also open a State Office in the South-South Zone.
Ayakoroma also disclosed that the Weekend Indigenous Language Programme, which is currently running, is to give room for the workers to benefit, recalling that the Institute organised a Management Retreat earlier in the year, packaged a customized workshop on Repositioning Cultural Workers for Improved Productivity for staffers of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism, with the approval of the Honourable Minister, Chief Edem Duke.
He also informed the Honourable Members that the last activity of NICO for the year was the Children’s Cultural Extravaganza, which attracted schools from the Federal Capital Territory, and that the programme, which was aimed at, “catching them young,” was a veritable platform of NICO Cultural Clubs in Schools, to encourage children to identify with our rich cultural endowments.
Decrying the dearth of funds, which had been a major challenge in achieving the mandate of the Institute, the ES enjoined the committee members to use their good offices to work for the progress and development of the culture sector, saying, “Together we can take the culture sector to a higher heights and we believe that culture can indeed be a revenue earner comparable to oil in the next few years because what constitutes our cultures are things that are with us; we are not going to import them from anywhere. So, the way we use them to sell ourselves will determine how we can make an impact.”
Members of the team who accompanied Hon. Hakeem Abiodun Muniru were, Hon. El-sudi Ibrahim, Hon. Abegunde Ifedayo, Hon. Jephtha Foingha, Hon. Idris Legbo Kutigi, Hon. Musa Ado, and Hon. Zakari Mohammed.
Management staff of NICO present were Mr. Godson Ordu (Director Finance & Accounts), Mr. Nelson Ebi Campbell (Acting Director, Office of the Executive Secretary), Mr. Alex Omijie (Acting Director, Orientation & Cultural Affairs), and Mrs. Jane Anigala (Assistant Director, Admin. & Human Resources).
Njideka Justina Dimgba