In line with President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s desire to diversify the nation’s economy through alternative sources of revenue generation, the Management of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) has expressed readiness to partner the people of Zango Kataf, a community based in Kaduna state in promoting its forthcoming cultural festival, scheduled for 7th May, 2016.

Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, who is also a Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Cultural Studies, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), gave the approval to partner the community on the festival in his office recently when he received representatives from Zango Kataf who were on a courtesy visit to solicit the Institute’s support on possible ways of collaboration.

According to Ayakoroma, it is the Institute’s desire for all Nigerians to embrace our own ways of life and as such, NICO is always willing to encourage communities that come up with such cultural festivals that will bring unity amongst the people and enhance the local economy.

His words: “Basically, the Institute wants Nigerians to embrace our own culture. We want our children to live in a cultured way. We want our children to be organising our festivals so that they will unite us. This is in the sense that you will bring together, in the festival you are organising, all your sons and daughters to the land; and during that period, may be some people may not have seen themselves for ten years but the festival will provide the platform to bring everybody together.”

Speaking further, he said: “Experience has also taught me that during these festivals, the people live in harmony. For instance, even if two families have quarrelled before, because of the festival, they can forget about their differences. So, we always encourage that come up with cultural festivals and invite us to be part of it so that we give it the needed publicity. We will also work towards putting up appearance and participate in the programme by sending representations, as much as we can, in order to be part of your festival and see how we can document it properly.”

The NICO ES, who regretted the Institute’s lack of capacity to further support the festival financially, however gave the assurance that the Institute will do whatever was within its capacity to give the festival necessary publicity, using its numerous platforms so that Nigerians will be aware that such a festival was being organised.

He also disclosed that the Institute runs training programmes leading to the award of Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Administration; and that one of the key areas they look into is festival organisation and management and as such, everybody is interested when festivals are organised for them to go and study the ways in which they are organised.

Ayakoroma maintained that especially now that Nigeria is talking about diversification of the economy, there is urgent need for our festivals to be effectively rebranded for people to know about them; and that one of the ways to achieve this is by giving them adequate publicity.

Speaking earlier, the leader of delegation from Zango Kataf, Mr. Katukan Bobai, while soliciting NICO’s support in promoting the festival, said this was not the first time the community was making an attempt to get the Institute to partner the community on the festival.

He disclosed that though their first attempt to partner NICO was not successful, their return a second time was an indication that the community appreciates the role NICO is playing towards re-orienting Nigerians towards a culture-based lifestyle.

Present during the courtesy visit were Mr. Law Ikay Ezeh (SA-ES), Alhaji Ibrahim Husseini (Acting Director, Administration & Human Resources), Mr. Michael Ekoko (Acting Director, Research & Documentation), Dr. (Mrs.) Regina Onuoha (Coordinator, NICO Training School, Abuja Centre), as well as Mr. Segun Adegbaju and Mrs. Franca Okoro (Assistant Directors, Orientation & Cultural Affairs).

Also on the part of the delegation from Zango Kafaf were Messrs. Bulus Kanwai, Peter Billy, Simba Zamani and Jacob Samaila.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja