Akin 1The Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, and member of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) Governing Board, Professor Bola Akinterinwa, has said Nigeria must begin to develop expertise in the area of culture, saying cultural diplomacy has assumed the character of academic discipline.

This was contained in a goodwill message he delivered at the occasion of the 2nd Convocation ceremony of the NICO Training School, which took place on Saturday, 16th August, 2014 at the Cinema Hall of National Theatre, Iganmu-Lagos.

According to him, NICO was already doing much in this regard through the instrumentality of the Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Administration being offered at the Institute’s Training School. “I congratulate the Management of NICO for not only initiating the Diploma course and Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Administration but also being the source swift inspiration of today. Nigeria must begin to develop some expertise in this field of study.”

Continuing, Akinterinwa said, “It is a source of pride and indeed happiness to be associated with today’s convocation ceremony. I say so on the following grounds; first, as a member of the Governing Board of NICO, it marks another significant milestone and achievement in the life of the Governing Board. If there is nothing to celebrate, who will invite any Board Member, it is because there is something good that we have been invited to come and partake in it. Secondly, as a scholar in the field of International Relations, I am delighted to welcome the future Cultural Ambassadors of Nigeria because Cultural Diplomacy has assumed the character of academic discipline.”

Speaking on the ongoing affiliation process of programmes of the Training School to the Nasarawa State University, NSUK, the NIIA Boss, who commended the efforts of the Management of NICO in forging a relationship between the University and the Institute’s Training School for the Diploma and Postgraduate programmes in Cultural Administration maintained that given the dynamism of the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma and his team driving the Institute’s projects, the relationship with NSUK had great potentials to further strengthen international cultural relations.

To the graduating students, Akinterinwa congratulated and commended them for their discipline and objectivity of purpose, which they had exhibited during their studies at the Training School, adding that, success was generally a resultant of deeds of hard work and discipline. 

His words: “The Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Administration being awarded to you are eloquent testimonies of your perseverance and success; but this is only one aspect of it. What do you do subsequently with the knowledge you have acquired with regards to how you apply it for the cultural development of Nigeria? I think this is the challenge. You need to be an educated man. Holding a Diploma, B.Sc Degree, or being a professor does not make you and educated man. An educated man begins with what NSUK has called, “knowledge for development,” which is their logo. An educated man is the man who is able to translate the acquired education in school for purposes of development of his or her community. If your education is not relevant to the manpower and development needs of your community, you are only good for nothing and therefore irrelevant. What will determine your future is the extent to which you are able to determine today how you want to translate this cultural education. Education is culture, culture is education. The learned person must be cultured. If you are not cultured, you cannot be learned.”

He therefore commended the Acting Vice-Chancellor of NSUK, Professor Muhammadu Akaro Mainoma, for accepting the challenge to train, educate and bring the younger generation on the path to greater tomorrow as well as the Director, NICO Training School, Mrs. Brigitte Yerima for successfully graduating the 2012/2013 set of students and particularly in enhancing the capacity in cultural administration, saying it was very patriotic and commendable and further called for sustenance by adequate funding and provision of modern equipment.

Caleb Nor Corporate Affairs Unit NICO, Abuja