The Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has described cultural festivals as major boosters to our local economy if they are properly harnessed.

Prof. Ayakoroma stated this at the maiden edition of the New Yam Festival (‘Iri Ji’) of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Enugu State Office and Unveiling of NICO Enugu Cultural Troupe, held recently at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Independence Layout, Enugu.

He maintained that cultural festivals have the capacity to increase our local Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through increased, high demand for locally made materials used for the ceremony.

The NICO ES described the New Yam festival as a dominant one that takes centre stage among other activities, saying yam is the ‘king’ of all crops; hence, the New Yam festival takes prominence among all.

Ayakoroma then enjoined Ndi Igbo at home and in the Diaspora to use the New Yam festival platform as a rallying point, through the creation of regular jobs and market to the artisans to augment the effect of the present economic meltdown, thus adding value to the economy.

 ofoThe guest lecturer, Mazi Chinedum Ofomata, while speaking on the theme, ‘Itu Mmai: Onodu Ya Na Ala Anyi Bu Nigeria Taa’ (Pouring of Libation: It’s Place in Present Nigeria Contemporary Society), observed that cultural festivals promote exchange of local goods to enhance foreign earnings.

“You can only attach exchange value to only what originates and is controlled from your domain”, he stressed and urged Ndi Igbo to promote their culture and festivals for the restoration of the moral and religious values, which have been Balkanized, all in the name of Westernization.

The occasion, which was spiced by the NICO Enugu Cultural Troupe and other invited cultural dancers within and outside the State, provided an opportunity for NICO Enugu to honour some distinguished personalities in the culture sector, as NICO Enugu Cultural Ambassadors.

Among the recipients were Chief Pete Edochie (MON), Gentleman Mike Ejeagha, Sculptor Eddie Okolo, Chief Solomon Agu (Daddy Solo), Chief (Sir) Ekwy Ezike (Mkpokiti Jesus), Dr. Ferdinand Anikwe (DG, CBAAC), Ozo G.A. Amujiogu, and Igwe Dr. Emma Ugwu, who bagged the NICO Enugu Cultural Mayor.

Ngoka Kingsley

Corporate Affairs Dept

NICO Enugu State Office