ESThe Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma has said that the 2015 edition of the Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA) Conference, which the institute will host, will serve as a reference point in the annals of the body of theatre scholars in and outside Nigeria.

Stating this in a General Meeting of NICO Management and Staff at the Institute’s Head Office in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, the NICO helmsman said he had briefed the Chairman of Board, Alhaji Ibrahim Isma’il, on the event coming up 4-5 August, 2015 at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, and had been assured of the Board’s support.

According to him, making the hosting of the 28th edition of the conference historic will go a long way in enhancing the credibility of NICO, bringing it to international attention, adding that this was the first time any government agency, other than a university, will be hosting the SONTA Annual Conference and that the LOC Members believe that NICO was equal to the task.

Ayakoroma said the above had served as an impetus for the LOC to be innovative, designing a conference website and uploading all accepted abstracts online about nine weeks before the event, a feat that had not been achieved in conference organisation in Nigeria.

Throwing more light on what NICO stands to gain in hosting the august event, the ES noted that the LOC will need the support of all Members of Staff of the Institute to raise the needed funds, enjoining them to make contacts with prospective sponsors and pledging that when such sponsors respond positively, the staffers that facilitated such would be handsomely rewarded.

Commending NICO staffers that sent in abstracts, he urged other members of staff to engage in activities that would develop them for their future endeavours, adding: “You have done well. It means that you want to constructively engage yourselves. It is better that being involved in idle gossips. As the saying goes, ‘Great minds think of ideas; but little minds think of other people.’ Think of what you can do to make the difference to move NICO forward.”

He also advised them to visit to read the abstracts submitted by various university theatre and film scholars and professionals from home and abroad on the conference, with the theme: “Repositioning Nollywood for the Promotion of Nigeria’s Cultural Diplomacy and National Security.

Nwagbo Pat Obi

NICO Training School

Abuja Study Centre