Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), who is also an Visiting Associate Professor at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK) and Convener of the 28th edition of the Annual International Conference of the Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA 2015), has said the Institute is on a threshold of history as the first Institute outside the conventional university setting to host the conference since inception.

Ayakoroma, who said this at a Management/Staff General Meeting at the Institute’s head office in Abuja, on Friday, 31st July, 2015, organized to brief them on toward the success of the conference implored staffers of the Institute to key into the programme and give it the needed support it requires to succeed, stressing that NICO’s hosting of SONTA 2015 is a rare privilege.

According to him, many within the theatre profession never gave NICO the chance in its bid to successfully host the conference but with the level of preparations ahead of the programme, there was a change of mindset.

His words: “Only recently, one of the lecturers sent me a text saying Prof., when you were given the right to host, I had doubts because NICO is not a university; but now, with what your Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has done, we couldn’t have made a better choice.”

He therefore thanked members of the LOC for their support towards the hosting of the conference, saying: “I thank all members of the LOC for standing by me, believing in me, and agreeing to drive the process;” adding that, anyone who visits the NICO website will be redirected through “SONTA 2015” link to the website designed by the Institute for the purpose of the conference where all the abstracts, papers to be presented, the roundtable as well last the plenary sessions and other necessary information, including hotel rates, have been uploaded.

Ayakoroma further encouraged staffers to visit the site and read uploaded papers, stressing that they are very interesting papers and he is particularly delighted that three (3) Directors from the Institute also submitted papers for the conference, namely, Director, Administration and Human Resources, Barr. Abayomi Oyelola, mni, Director, Research and Documentation, Prince Bamidele Olusa, and Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Alex Omijie.

The ES however commended specifically, Mr. Akanle Oyewole, a staff in the Abuja Training School arm of NICO for submitting a paper, which he referred to as the “Star Paper” for his efforts to be actively involved in the conference.

It is also worthy to note that NICO has made information available on affordable hotels in Abuja, the nation’s capital, for intending participants on the website created for the conference, just as there is arrangement for transportation to and fro for participants who may be lodging in such hotels.

Intending participants can visit the site: www.sonta.nico.gov.ng and go to the session menu to see the different hotel rates that have been contacted by NICO for accommodation of participants.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja