bentomA veteran journalist and father of cultural journalism in Nigeria, Mr. Ben Tomoloju has called on the Management of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) to consider including Cultural Journalism as a course of study in the curriculum of the Institute’s Training School.

Tomoloju, who made this call while delivering a goodwill message, Saturday, 16th August, 2014 at the Cinema Hall of the National Theatre, Iganmu-Lagos during the convocation ceremony of the 2012/2013 graduands of the NICO Training School, described the event as a formal academic manifestation of the attempt and efforts at intellectualizing the Nigerian cultural horizon.

He added that, “NICO has in the past few years, done so much in terms of the promotion, dissemination, management and strategizing of cultural information in Nigeria. For the past three years or so, they have engaged the Nigerian cultural journalists in a quarterly workshop which expands the horizon of knowledge in cultural journalism.”

While commending the graduands of their attainment which he maintained was a culmination of so many years of dynamic force impacted on the Nigerian consciousness through culture, the veteran journalist, popularly referred to as, “Ben T,” recalled that when the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma assumed duties some four years ago, he made mention of a few things about “The Barclays Force” and today, he believes that, “The Barclays Force,” was complimenting that long history of dynamism in the cultural sector.

On his part, the Director-General, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru-Jos, Professor Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, OFR, in a letter addressed to the Executive Secretary of NICO, titled, “Convocation’s Goodwill Message,” signed and read on his behalf by NIPSS’ Director of Research and Representative on the Governing Board of NICO, Professor Olu Obafemi, congratulated the Institute over her continued efforts towards building the culture sector.

The letter read in part: “On this memorable day of yet another convocation ceremony of your Institution for which the National Institute is proudly associated, I wish to, on behalf of the Board and Management, congratulate you for your sustained effort to build an enviable and virile cultural institution of the nation’s envy.

“No doubts, the training of Nigeria’s cultural worker, which NICO has embarked upon through the Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma programmes in Cultural Administration, has begun to add tremendous ethical educational and economic value to our nation in its drive to centralize culture in its national Transformation Agenda.”

In his personal capacity, Professor Olu Obafemi, who recalled that beginning from inception of NICO, he had always been actively engaged in the Institute’s activities as a Member of the Governing Board, said despite working with past Chief Executives of NICO, he was proud to associate with the growth and dynamism, which the present Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma had brought to bear in the development of the Institute.

Similarly, the Artistic Director, National Troupe of Nigeria, Mr. Martins Adaji, in a Goodwill Message addressed to the Executive Secretary of NICO, dated 15th August, 2014 and titled, “Goodwill Message on the Occasion of the Convocation Ceremony of the NICO Training School August 12, 2014 National Theatre, Lagos,” commended the leadership of the Institute saying, “I know that you have put in a great deal of work and effort to get to this point and we want the leadership and staff of NICO to know that we at the National Troupe of Nigeria are very proud of your effort and commitment to improving the human resources that abound in the cultural sector.”

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja