fouThe Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has called on Nigerians to take advantage of the cultural dimension of development for the much-needed advancement, not only in governance and the democratic process, but in every area of our national life, if the country must stand tall in the comity of nations.

Ayakoroma, who gave this advice in his Welcome Address, Friday August 15, 2014, on the occasion of the 5th NICO Annual Public/Convocation Lecture held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos, also enunciated that the NICO Lecture Series was fast becoming, a veritable platform for scholars to express quantum of intellectual ideas in cultural administration, thus making every NICO Lecture, “the Inaugural after the Inaugural.”

usmanEarlier on in his Opening Remark, the Chairman of the Occasion and Director-General of Centre for Management Development (CMD), Dr. Kabir Usman, applauded the choice of topic, “Repositioning Nigeria’s Cultural Industries for Economic Empowerment and Social Security,” for this year’s NICO Lecture.

According to him, a vibrant cultural industry will tremendously mitigate youth unemployment and curb the security challenges facing Nigeria today; and that, “repositioning Nigeria’s cultural industries will serve as a catalyst for the rapid socio-economic development of the country, in line with the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.”

effiongThe Guest Lecturer, Professor Effiong Etim Johnson of the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, in his lecture, espoused the relevance of culture to development with due emphasis on the indispensability of indigenous language as a vehicle to convey full meaning of the repository of rich values contained in Nigerian cultures, arguing that, if you want people to get the real meaning of what the indigenous culture says, you have to present it in the vernacular.

Professor Johnson advocated that Nigeria must look beyond oil and use the window of opportunities presented by the rebasing of the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) to yeridevelop the tourism industry and properly reposition and transform the cultural industries; and to effectively achieve this, the country needed to harness the positive cultural values found in the diverse rich cultures of Nigeria and discard the negative ones.

The lecture, which was organised to herald the convocation ceremony for graduands of the Diploma and Post Graduate Diploma in Cultural Administration programmes of NICO Training School, Lagos, for the 2012/2013 Academic Session, was the 2nd in the Convocation Lecture Series, the 1st having been presented by Professor Ayo Akinwale of the University of Ilorin, on Friday, 16th August, 2013, at the same venue.

Anthony Okafor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO Training School