Members of staff of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), North-Central Zonal Office in Ilorin, Kwara State, were gaily attired in indigenous dresses as they marked this year’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (also known as World Culture Day), on Monday, 23rd May, 2016 in the office premises.

They also cooked different indigenous cuisines, which were presented as prizes to those considered as most appropriately dressed staffers, to mark the day, which is actually 21st May, 2016, as declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), but fell on Saturday this year.

In his keynote address, the Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Ohi Ojo, said the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is an opportunity to help communities understand the value of cultural diversity and learn how to live together in harmony.

Ojo stressed further that celebrating the World Culture Day means opening new perspectives for sustainable development and promoting creative industries and cultural entrepreneurship, as sources of millions of jobs worldwide, particularly for young men and women.

The Zonal Coordinator added that culture is a sustainable development accelerator, whose potential has been recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations.

He said the day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on 20th October, 2005.

Mr. Ohi Ojo, who put on “Etibo” attire, said Cultural Diversity is an opportunity that a nation needs to have all-round development, which can be a source of revenue generation for the country.

In his welcome address, the Head, Orientation and Cultural Affairs Department, Mr. Levi Aladeitan, said culture is central to development and that is the reason why NICO, as the apex cultural institute in Nigeria, was established to conduct research into all aspects of culture, document them and orientate people on how to make culture a vector for our national development.

According to him, most importantly, culture has now has the potentials as an alternative source of revenue generation worthy of employing, investing and boosting the national economy, and commended the efforts of the Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Ohi Ojo, for pulling the little resources at his disposal together to mark the day.

In their good will messages, the heads of departments in the zone jointly called on the Federal Government to revitalize the indigenous craft industries and heritage sites, and make the sector more viable for employment generation and wealth creation and empower NICO financially to be able to carry out her mandate.

CuisineThey equally advised NICO staffers to continue patronising our indigenous languages dresses, and foods so that we can be good role models to others in the larger society.

The Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Ohi Ojo, also used the occasion to constitute a five-man committee to enforce the dress code of members of staff and make report to the Zonal Coordinator’s office regularly.

The committee, with the Head, Administration and Human Resources, Mrs. Shalom Abolarin, as chairperson, has Mr. Anthony Olasinde, Mr. Toyin Bamidele, Mallam Mashood Dagbo and Mr. Toyin Adeseko as members.

In the vote of thanks, Mrs. Happy Hedima of Admin Department, commended the Zonal Coordinator, all Heads of Department, and the entire members of staff for their support in making the programme successful.

Olaniyi Aweda

Corporate Affairs Department

NICO NCZ, Ilorin