Lecture Pix 2The Federal Government has said it will work assiduously in exploring ways to bring out the best of its people and resources through the growth of cultural industries and also sustain cultural awareness to ensure that sustainable national development is achieved.

Honourable Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke disclosed this in Lagos on Friday, 15th August, 2014 at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), venue of the 5th Annual Public/Convocation Lecture of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO).

Represented by the Artistic Director, National Troupe, Mr. Martins Adaji, Duke said the current administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has already put in place, modalities to explore, harness, utilize and maximize the cultural industries to effectively contribute towards the economic growth and development of Nigeria, saying, NICO’s Annual Lecture was relevant and aligned with the administration’s Transformation Agenda.

His words: “There is no gainsaying the fact that the recent rebasing of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) clearly shows that the cultural industries have the potentials for growth and the capacity to create employment, create wealth and eradicate poverty, if they are properly repositioned.”

While commending the Governing Board, Management and Staff of NICO, for creating such a veritable platform to enlighten, educate and demonstrate to the general public, the critical role of culture in national development, Duke maintained that knowledge was a key element of our daily existence because it had the power of transforming people within a given society.

According to him: “Knowledge is confirmed when presented continuously; hence, a lecture of this nature is designed to probe into new horizons and solidify the existing body of knowledge as it pertains to culture. That is why NICO needs to be commended for putting together this forum of intellectual discourse to contribute meaningfully to the vision of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for the culture sector.”Lecture Pix 1

Earlier in his Welcome Address, NICO’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, noted that with the impressive line-up of topics and guest lecturers for the Annual Lectures, the Institute had made a mark in developing a quantum of intellectual ideas in cultural administration, adding that, the Lecture Series could now be aptly termed, “the Inaugural after the Inaugural;” because it was fast becoming “a veritable platform for scholars to present what has become the 2nd Inaugural Lecture.”

He stated, the expectation is that at the end of this lecture, guests would appreciate better, adding, “the need to embrace our culture, cherish its inherent values, and accord it a pride of place in all aspects of our development agenda. If Nigeria must stand tall among the comity of nations, we must, as a matter of urgency, explore the cultural dimension, not only in our quest for good governance and democratic ideals, but in every sphere of our national life.”

The Convocation Lecture, on the topic, “Repositioning Nigeria’s Cultural Industries for Economic Empowerment and Social Security,” was presented by an erudite theatre scholar, Professor Effiong Etim Johnson, a Professor of Theatre Arts (Directing and Aesthetics), from the University of Uyo, who remarkably, is the first Professor of Theatre Arts to be appointed by the University.

Present at the occasion were the Director-General, Centre for Management Development (CMD), Dr. Kabir Usman, who chaired the occasion, the Director-General, Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Professor Bola Akinterinwa, who was represented by the Director of Research, Professor Ogba Oche, the Head, Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, and the representative of the Secretary-General of NATCOM-UNESCO, Mr. I. S. Egbo.Lecture Pix 3

Management Staff of NICO present were the Director of Administration & Human Resources, Barr. Abayomi Oyelola, mni, Director of Finance & Accounts, Mr. Godson Ordu, Director of Research & Documentation, Prince Bamidele Olusa, Director Orientation & Cultural Affairs, Mr. Alex Omijie, and Director, Lagos Liaison Office, Mr. Louis Eriomala, as well as the Director of NICO Training School, Mrs. Brigitte Yerima and the Institute’s Zonal Coordinators.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja