It is with enormous pleasure that I welcome you all to the Quarterly Public Lecture Series, the second edition this year, organized by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), in furtherance of its public enlightenment and general sensitization objectives.

NICO, as a Parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, was established in 1993 through a joint initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). By Thursday, 17th August, this year, the Institute will mark its 24years Anniversary.

NICO, as the capacity building organ in the culture sector, runs a academic programmes in its Training School, leading to the award of Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Administration. The Institute has the mandate of promoting positive cultural values and harnessing culture for national development, as enunciated in the 1998 Cultural Policy for Nigeria.

The foregoing explains why NICO, as UNESCO’s focal agency on the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), has Nigerian Indigenous language Programme (NILP), Annual Round Table on Cultural Orientation (ARTCO), National Workshops on Promoting Nigerian Dress Culture, National Workshop on Repositioning Culture Workers, National Workshop on Culture, Peace and National Security, and Children’s Cultural Clubs in Schools, among others, as some of its core programmes.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, the NICO Quarterly Public Lecture Series was conceptualized, as a veritable and strategic platform, where the nation can benefit immensely from the intellectual capacity and wealth of experience of eminent scholars, renowned culture administrators, top government functionaries, technocrats and critical stakeholders.

I am delighted to inform you that since its inception, we have successfully organized several editions of the series, the last being the one, which took place on Thursday, 2nd March, 2017, eloquently presented by His Excellency Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha, the Executive Governor of Imo State, also at this venue.

Interestingly, our objective in this year’s Quarterly Public Lecture Series is to underscore the intrinsic relationship between culture and sustainable economic development and to emphasize the urgent need to give priority attention to harnessing the vast potentials in the culture and tourism sector in our quest to diversify the nation’s economy.

We make bold to state that unless the cultural dimension is emphasized in our economic development agenda, as clearly demonstrated by the Asian Tigers, sustainable economic development would remain a mirage.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, in keeping with our tradition, today’s edition of the NICO Quarterly Public Lecture, will be delivered by an erudite scholar of no mean repute. He is the Vice Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu.

At this juncture, I am pleased to also inform you that the maiden edition of CultureScope: A Journal of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), will be formally presented to the public. The publication of the journal marks another milestone in the annals of NICO. I believe you will all grab a copy each!

Finally, I will like to express our sincere appreciation to our indefatigable Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, visionary leadership of the Ministry and for his usual support.

Our special thanks also go to our distinguished guest lecturer, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, for accepting to deliver this lecture at very short notice.

My sincere gratitude to the Chairman on this august occasion, the Royal Father of the Day, Members of the diplomatic corps, other distinguished guests, Management and Staff of NICO, and gentlemen of the press, for honouring our invitation.

I thank you all for your kind attention.