The Niger State Government has expressed willingness to partner the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) on its activities, saying the collaboration between the State and the Institute can add value to the economic development of Nigeria.

Former Commissioner representing Niger State in the Federal Character Commission (FCC) and current Secretary to Niger State Government, Alhaji Ibrahim Isa Ladan, disclosed this on Monday, 17th October, 2016, when he visited the Executive Secretary of NICO, Associate Professor Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, in his office located at No. 23, Kigoma Street, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja-FCT.

According to him, collaborating with NICO, the apex cultural training institute in Nigeria will put Niger State, a state with abundant natural and cultural resources differently on the map of Nigeria from what it is now, assuring that His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Niger State, Alhaji (Dr). Abubakar Sani Bello, is passionate about ideas that can bring about development to the state.

His words: “I will be very happy if my friendship with your organisation will really put us on the map of Nigeria differently from what it is now; and I assure you that my Governor is somebody, who is very passionate about things that will bring development. He is widely travelled; he has been in the private sector most of the time and he has always emphasized that we just have to look inward where we are blessed with so many things. We have tourist potentials, different cultural activities, where we are inviting international communities to come and see what we have”.

Continuing, he said, “I wish to see that with the time you have left as ES of NICO, we can be able to partner and collaborate to see what positive contributions we can bring to the culture sector”; adding that, in this regard, his office will be glad to know the things Niger State Government and NICO could do together and the areas of partnership. ”

The SSG also stated, “I will be glad if NICO will be able to partner with us. I want to assure you that while I am here, if I understand the concept of any initiative you have and am able to key into it, the administration will be very happy to, in the nearest future, collaborate with your office”.”

To him, despite the current financial realities in the country, the state is willing to deploy necessary human brains to bring in development that will make the state begin to benefit from the proximity it has to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He stressed that when people travel to other countries, there are centres where visitors go to spend their money, watch what the people are doing, especially in the demonstration of their music, dances and clothing, which give you something to pick and go with while places that can be turned into tourist sites, like Zuma Rock and Gurara Falls, are yet to be fully tapped to bring about the needed development.

clayminSpeaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Professor Barclays Ayakoroma, while congratulating Alhaji Ladan on his well-deserved appointment, as SSG to Niger State Government, said he had worked hard towards meriting such a position in government, stressing that the Governor did not make any mistake in appointing him.

While expressing hope that his position as SSG will further bring the Institute close to Niger State Government, Ayakoroma used the opportunity to inform him of the Institute’s Quarterly Public Lecture Series initiated with the hope of metamorphosing into a Monthly Lecture Series, with a focus on State Governors to see what they are doing in the culture sector.

To him, at a time the nation is seriously desirous of diversifying the economy, culture remains a viable alternative and the Institute is doing everything possible to encourage Governors by really examining their contributions towards the development of the sector, using the Public Lecture platform.

The SSG, Niger State, was accompanied by his Special Assistant on Media and Strategy, Mr. Soji Bamidele; while NICO Directors present were Mr. Alex Omijie (Orientation and Cultural Affairs), Alhaji Ibrahim Hussein (Admin & Human Resources), Mr. Mike Ekoko (Research & Documentation) and Mr. Law Ikkay Ezeh (SA-ES).

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit