The Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has reiterated that Nigerians from all walks of life need to join hands with the Institute towards a cultural rebirth for a better Nigeria.
This was the position of the NICO ES during the continuation of the 2nd phase of a 2-Day Cultural Orientation and Sensitization Programme for Junior Secondary School Students in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State held from 29th-30th November 2016, at the Emporium Event Centre, JBS Estate, Benin City, Edo State.
The programme was organized by NICO as part of its mandate of promoting, reviving, developing and sensitizing the citizenry on Nigeria’s cherished cultural values in collaboration with the House Committee on Culture and Tourism.
in his welcome address, Prof. Ayakoroma, who was represented by the Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs of the Institute, Mr. Alex Omijie, reiterated that the cultural orientation and sensitization programme, which is in furtherance of NICO’s statutory mandate of harnessing Nigeria’s culture for national development, was designed to stimulate the interest of youths in our culture and to imbibe in them a better understanding of the place of culture in national development.
Noting that culture, as the totality of the life patterns of a particular group of people, explains everything about their way of life, their language, religion, cuisines, social habits, dances, music and arts, Ayakoroma stated that, it is a social mechanism that helps individuals to understand their environment.
According to him, in-order to maintain, defend, protect and develop our culture, there is need for the youths to appreciate the worth of Nigeria’s diverse but rich cultural endowments; and that their understanding would serve as a veritable channel for the transmission of the good aspects of our culture from one generation to another.
This, he said, was the reason why the Institute, in the bid to effectively sensitize and connect our youths firmly to their roots and provide them access to various resources of history, literature and culture, established NICO Cultural Clubs in Schools, and created a platform, known as, Children’s Cultural Extravaganza for students to engage meaningfully in cultural activities.
The NICO ES stated that this vision was imperative because youths are very important members of the society, as they do not only serve as a bridge between the past, present and future but they are indeed the very embodiment of the future of the nation; noting that, though our youths are rich in potentials and competence, they do not develop in isolation but in context of family, community, educational system, public policies and society; hence, the reason why the cultural orientation and sensitization programme organized by the Institute was very apt.
He enjoined Nigerians to avail themselves of NICO’s cultural orientation and sensitization programmes and to partner the Institute and that all hope was not lost regarding cultural renaissance for Nigeria as we return to the cultural realities, norms, values and ways of life that kept our forefathers united and focused.
In his view, to achieve this goal, people must imbibe the culture of respect for authority, celebration of valour, integrity and noble acts; and that it was a clarion call for a collective responsibility of all: the youths, fathers, mothers, chiefs, traditional rulers, political and opinion leaders, to join hands with NICO and the Federal Government towards a cultural rebirth for a better Nigeria.
The ES also used the opportunity to appreciate the leadership of the House of Representatives, and especially the House Committee on Culture and Tourism, under the Chairmanship of Hon. (Engr.) Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, Member, Representing Oredo Federal Constituency, for his efforts at making the NICO-organized Cultural Sensitization Programme a huge success as well as for his promise to ensure the sustenance of the programme as an annual event.
It would be recalled that on the 24th and 25th of November, 2016, the 1st edition of the cultural orientation and sensitization programme was held at the same venue for senior secondary school students, where about twelve schools participated and competed in different cultural events and winners carted home various cash prizes; while all participating schools where given certificates of participation as well as consolation prize of fifty thousand naira each.
NICO HQ, Abuja