A legal luminary, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), has drawn the attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the activities of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), saying the Institute is one of Nigeria’s most important agencies and that government must give it the needed support so that it can effectively carry out the mandate.

Chief Agabi, who said this, Monday, 22nd August, 2016, during a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, at the NICO Headquarters, located at No. 23, Kigoma Street, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja-FCT, stressed that NICO’s existence is important to the country because of the role it has to play in drawing Nigerians back to their roots.

He however regretted that despite the obvious fact that Nigeria’s greatest problem is that of inadequate cultural reorientation, government still does not pay adequate attention to agencies like NICO, saying: “There are things that you should be telling Nigerians and insisting on them. You should have powers to dictate to the television and radio stations, what kind of programmes they should show and to do that, we must go back to our roots”.

Continuing, he said: “We are a nation without roots because we despise our roots. We have complex whereas we ought to be a proud people. You listen to radio, they are playing foreign music, you watch TV, there are showing foreign films, we bear foreign names and it is a disgrace. Why are we still bearing foreign names? You go to church and they play foreign music and wear foreign clothes. Of course we live in a globalised world and we must socialize but we cannot forget our roots so completely.”

He therefore encouraged the leadership of NICO never to relent in its efforts towards carrying out its mandate of cultural orientation, even if it does not receive the needed encouragement it ought to have from the government.

In his response, the ES of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, reiterated that the Institute, as an agency of government under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, has the responsibility of sensitizing the citizenry on cultural matters.

He further disclosed that NICO came into existence in 1993 as an initiative of UNESCO and the Federal Government of Nigeria, because UNESCO felt many development programmes in member countries were failing because the cultural component of development was not taken into consideration and therefore saw the need for member nations to look at the centrality of culture in their development process, hence the establishment of NICO.

He assured that NICO, under his leadership, will not relent in carrying out its mandate of reorienting Nigerians towards living a culture-oriented lifestyle, so that people will appreciate the country’s cultural diversity and their cultural endowments.

Chief Agabi was accompanied to NICO on the courtesy visit by Martin Odey, Esq.; while Mr. Alex Omijie (Director, Orientation & Cultural Affairs), Mr. Law Ezeh (Deputy Director/SA to ES) and Mr. Herbert Ogbeh (Head, Finance & Accounts), were with the ES, NICO.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja