The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Associate Professor Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has stated that the mandate of the Institute is to sensitize Nigerians towards culture-oriented lifestyles.

He stated this in an interview with journalists in Minna, the Niger State capital, during the opening ceremony of the 2-Day National Workshop on Nigerian Dress Culture and Sustainable Development, organised by NICO at the Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna, Niger State on Tuesday, 6th June, 2017.

Prof. Ayakoroma said the Nigerian Dress Culture campaign initiated by NICO in 2010 is one among the various programmes designed by the Institute to sensitize Nigerians towards living a culture-oriented lifestyle, disclosing that, “for us in NICO, we have instituted Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as dress Nigerian days for all officers of the Institute in all of NICO offices across the country”.

Speaking further, the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute stated, “imagine if all public officers in government agencies, parastatals and public corporations dress in Nigerian fabrics and banks also adopt Dress Nigerian Days, of course, our textile industries will bounce back”.

In addition, he said if schools will use Nigerian fabrics for their uniforms, it will go a long way in boosting the Nigerian textile industries thus generating employment for individuals, creating wealth and in turn enhancing the Nigerian economy, adding that, this thinking had informed Institute’s clamour for the adoption of the Dress Nigerian Days by all Nigerians and using the National Workshop on Nigerian Dress Culture and Sustainable Development as a platform to sieve ideas from stakeholders.

Furthermore, the NICO ES stated that, the Institute’s mandate does not only stop at re-orienting Nigerians on dress culture but includes sensitizing them on learning and speaking, not only their indigenous languages but other indigenous languages in the country, to diminish the communication barriers.

Prof. Ayakoroma noted that in achieving this mandate, the Institute organized a workshop on Indigenous Language Newspapers in Kaduna recently, at the instance of the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; and that all the programmes are geared towards sensitizing Nigerians to know that the various aspects of our unique cultures and ways of life are the things that differentiate us and give us a sense of pride and identity as a people.

He informed the media team that, the choice of Minna, Niger State, to host the Nigerian Dress Culture Workshop for 2017 was deliberate, owing to the fact that, the major raw material, as far as the textile industry is concerned, which is cotton, is essential to the realization of a robust Nigerian dress culture.

Noting that Niger State is known for the cultivation of cotton and with the about 25 different ethnic groups co-existing peacefully in the state, it means that, there is about 25 different cultural ways of dressing in the state, and explains why the Institute sees the state as a fertile ground to promote the dress culture sensitization campaign.

He therefore expressed NICO’s appreciation to the Niger State Government for expressing their readiness to partner the Institute in promoting Nigeria dress culture; and called on Nigerians to appreciate the fact that when we patronize Nigerian fabrics, its production quality will improve gradually, likening the gradual process of improvement in the quality and standard of our indigenous fabrics to the movement of a car, where one first and foremost starts the engine then engages gear one before going to two, three and four, respectively.

The ES lamented the fact that most Nigerians do not appreciate what they have thus necessitating his reiteration of the need for all Nigerians to appreciate our own and take pride in what is indigenously ours which will make us stand from the rest anywhere we find ourselves.

Jonathan Nicodemus

Corporate Affairs