Members of staff of NICO SWZ, on Tuesday, 21st May, 2015, marked the celebration of this year’s World Day for Cultural Diversity (WDCD), popularly called, World Culture Day, at the Zonal Office in Akure, Ondo state, with a call on Management to utilize advocacy in implementing the mandate of the Institute.
During a question and answer session, after the lecture, they opined that as it is done in some countries like Germany and France, where foreigners are made to study their indigenous languages before settling down to work, the Federal Government of Nigeria should make foreigners, especially expatriate workers to study Nigerian Languages and Culture at NICO Training School, to help them to appreciate the cultural diversity of their host communities, and engender productivity and a healthy work environment.
Presenting a paper on the theme of this year’s celebration “Culture and Cultural Diversity in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda,” the Zonal Head, Mr. Ohi Ojo posited that it was unacceptable for various state governments to be going cap-in-hand for their monthly allocations from the Federal Government, which depends on oil; and that, the country was currently facing a dangerous level of unemployment and weak economy as a result of the crash in oil price.
He said every community in the country has enough to sustain life if leaders are creative, as culture provides good avenues through which the nation’s economy can achieve sustainable development adding that, these can be found in arts /crafts, religion, heritage sites, food, festivals, etc, adding that a coordinated programme or calendar of these events could ensure regular in-flow of both domestic and international tourists year round.
According to the Zonal Head, there are over 450 ethnic groups in Nigeria, with each having different unique cooking styles, going down memory lane to describe how he enjoyed taking the local couscous and brabisco cuisines during his undergraduate at the University of Maiduguri, comparing them to the popular amala with gbegiri and ewedu (abula) soup in the South Western Nigeria and the famous akpu with afang soup in the Eastern part of the country.
He described as unfortunate, the many cases where heritage sites have been damaged, destroyed or desecrated by religious leaders claiming they are idolatry, also citing the examples of the much celebrated religious sites like the healing ‘Zam Zam’ water in Saudi Arabia, The Synagogue in Lagos and the Osun Osogbo Groove.
Other events during the ceremony were a performance by the Cultural Troupe, titled, “One Entity,” which essentially focused on the need for all sections of the country to harness their natural resources for national development in line with the theme of this year’s celebration, as well as poetry rendition (Ewi) on the importance of culture and the achievements of NICO by Mr. Babatunde Adewumi of Stores Unit.
While delivering her vote of thanks, Mrs. Eze Adesuwa thanked the Zonal Head and members of staff for their readiness and commitment towards the success of the programme, and encouraged them to always value and appreciate our cultural products, because they are usually more effective than the foreign products but only lack good packaging.
This year’s event in the South-West Zone was supported by Cocoa Products (Ile-Oluji) Ltd, makers of the popular Oluji Pure Cocoa Powder.