The Permanent Secretary, Ondo state Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Dr. (Mrs.) Modupe Catherine Akinroye, on Wednesday, 2nd September, 2015, called on stakeholders in the culture sector to seek for sponsorship and partnership from individual and private organizations on cultural programmes instead of relying solely on government for funds in order to achieve their mandates.
Dr. Akinroye made the call during a courtesy visit to her office by the new Zonal Coordinator of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), South-West Zonal Office, Mr. James Imohiosen.
In her address, the Permanent Secretary welcomed the new Zonal Coordinator to ‘the Sunshine State,’ saying our culture is fast eroding, as children can hardly speak in their native languages, not to talk of imbibing our dress culture, promising to send staffers of the Ministry to NICO Training School, and also encourage individuals, who might want to sponsor themselves to the Training School, as that training is part of staff motivation.
She asked for regular meetings between the two agencies to see areas of mutual cooperation, adding that, she operates an open door policy and that the new Zonal Coordinator can approach her for discussion anytime, pledging her support to use her ingenuity to achieve our aims and objectives.
Expressing appreciation to the PS for granting him audience, the new NICO South-West Zonal Coordinator, Mr. James Imohiosen, disclosed that, he thought it wise to visit the Ministry first being the Institute’s primary constituency.
He informed that the Institute was established by Act 93 of 1993, in response to the United Nations’ declaration of the World Decade for Cultural Development (WDCD) (1988-1997), which acknowledged among other things, the cultural dimension of development, the need to broaden participation in cultural life, as well as the promotion of international cooperation among Member Nations.
Imohiosen added that, the Institute was thus set up with the primary responsibility of harnessing our cultural resources to meet the challenges of social integration, peace, unity and national development, and to serve as a vital force for energizing the various cultural establishments in the direction advocated by the Cultural Policy of Nigeria and the World Decade for Cultural Development (WDCD).
The Zonal Coordinator went further to highlight some of NICO’s programmes, including, NICO Cultural Clubs in Secondary Schools (Omoluabi), to catch them young and inculcate cultural values in children, and the on-going Nigeria Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), which, he said, affords participants to learn any of the indigenous languages of Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and Izon.
He also sought for cooperation from the Ministry to actualize upcoming programmes of the Institute, namely, the Weekend Indigenous Language Programme and the End of Year Children’s Cultural Extravaganza, adding that due to demand by stakeholders in the culture sector, the Management of NICO had established the Abuja Study Centre of the Training School, and therefore asked for the Permanent Secretary’s support to sponsor staffers of the Ministry to attend during the next academic session.
Reacting to the Director of Culture, Mr. Lawrence Amimi’s position that NICO should relate with other cultural agencies, state ministries and federal establishments on the need for the certificates to be recognized for educational purposes and as a yardstick for promotion, as being used in NICO, Imohiosen said the school was being affiliated to Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), as part of efforts for the recognition of the certificate outside the Institute.
Ministry officials with the Permanent Secretary included the Director of Culture, Mr. Lawrence Amimi; Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Ayodeji Adetiloye; Director of Planning, Mr. John Aluko; and the Deputy Director of Culture, Mr. Yomi Owolabi.
The NICO Zonal Coordinator was accompanied by the Head of Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mrs. Ruth Oyenekan; Acting Head of Research and Documentation, Mr. Chris Sodje; Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Anakpoha Ogaga; and Mr. Laka Taiwo of Admin and Human Resources Department.