The Vice Chancellor, Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), Professor Muhammad Akaro Mainoma, has said his acceptance to present the public lecture, organised by the National Institute for Culture Orientation (NICO) on the theme: “Culture, Accountability and National Development”, is a clear indication that the University Management is proud of the Institute’s achievements in that past eight(8) years under the watch of Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, who is a Visiting Associate Professor with the University.

Prof. Mainoma, who spoke to NICO News through Professor Emmanuel Dandaura, in a telephone interview, ahead of the public lecture, scheduled for Thursday, 5th October, 2017, at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja-FCT, by 10am, said the general public stands to benefit so much from the lecture, because it promises to further remind and sensitise Nigerians on the potentials of culture in sustainable development role of the country.

According to him, accountability is one of the fundamental pillars of democracy and culture determines, to a large extent, the environment within which democracy will thrive; and addressing accountability as one of the components of democracy viz-a-viz its relationship with culture, means there is a lot the lecture will bring to bear in the sense that it is going to stimulate our thoughts.

“It is an opportunity for us to cross-fertilise ideas with people from the culture industry, sciences and social science sectors to see how we can appreciate the different dimensions of culture and how it relates to accountability and by extension, how it can boost our inspiration to live in a society where the will of the majority is recognized, especially at a time when we are negotiating the basis of our existence.

Further stressing the premium Nasarawa State University attaches to the programmes of NICO, Mainoma emphasised that, the recent approval for affiliation of the Institute’s Training School programmes with the University, is a clear indication that the University is proud to associate with the Institute.

His word: “I must tell you that it is not a mean feat for NICO Training School to be affiliated with NSUK. It takes a long process for such an application to be processed and approved. This is an issue that started since 2012 and we just concluded now. It tells you that the University was detailed and thorough about it. And I must tell you that this is one of the very few cases of affiliation with NSUK; so, the University attaches a lot of premium to the programmes of NICO and for NICO, a Federal Parastatal to have kept faith with NSUK, which is a state university, in terms of its interest in getting its Training School affiliated to us, shows that there is a lot of goodwill and understanding of the high profile the University has achieved, particularly in the area of culture”.

While calling on the Federal Government to retain the position of the Chief Executive Officer of NICO to the academics, Professor Mainoma applauded government’s choice of Prof. Ayakoroma as Executive Secretary of the Institute eight(8) years ago, saying it is only an academic or someone who understand what academic pursuits are that can consolidate the Institute’s achievements.

“NICO is the academic component of all the Parastatals under the Culture Ministry. Being the training organ, it requires a through breed academic to run it; and this is why I must say we are particularly happy with what has been happening in NICO in the past eight(8) years since Ayakoroma got there. You can see clearly that it has become the leading Parastatal in the culture sector in Nigeria. It is the flagship of that Ministry today and it is because he has been able to refocus it along the line of his academic direction. This is also because he has been able to bring on board the right resource persons from programme to programme that will attract the attention of Nigerians to that Parastatal”.

He therefore called on whoever that will be appointed to take over the baton of leadership in NICO, as Ayakoroma bows out to do everything possible to deepen the Institute’s programmes, saying the culture sector needs a creative person that can deepen and consolidate on programmes and open new frontiers in the same direction with which NICO has now been repositioned.

Caleb Nor

Media Assistant to ES