The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, prides itself to have the best and richest collection of books as far as the culture sector in Nigeria is concerned.

The Acting Executive Secretary of NICO, Mr. Louis Eriomala made this known at the Institute’s head office in Abuja on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 during the 2017/2018 NICO Training School orientation programme organised for newly admitted students into the Institute’s Postgraduate and Advance Diploma Courses in Cultural Administration at the Abuja Study Centre.

Admonishing the new students to take advantage of the Institute’s library especially in the area of research, the NICO Boss who maintained that knowledge today is universal and no longer restricted also lamented that in this part of the world, people don’t read anymore, stressing that it is a very bad culture.

In his words “Please I want to appeal to you that you should please read. Spend at least one hour in the library every day because NICO has the richest books in the culture sector in this country, yet it will surprise you that many people go through NICO Training School without reading any of its publication. There are even some members of staff here that have not read one publication and it is because we don’t have a reading culture in this part of the world”.

“Most of us come to NICO Training School as if it is punishment. Others come because of certificates. It is unfortunate that we are in a nation that runs after certificates. If today, NICO certificate is made a meal ticket for career progression in the civil service, people will throng here and we will struggle to contain those seeking admission in this place because here, people go to school to acquire certificates and not knowledge but the world today is knowledge-driven so please as you come in, open your mind to learn”.

“Everything I know about culture today, I learnt it while growing through the ranks but you are so fortunate that you are coming to have a formal training and I must tell you that it is a very rich programme, so don’t come with your mind closed, come to learn because it is not the grades you make that matters but the knowledge you will gain so that when you come out to talk, people will listen to you”.

On his part, the Director of Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Alex Omijie congratulated the new students, saying the training programme is very strategic for the culture sector because of the way culture is not appreciated in the country at all levels which underline why Nigeria is backwards compared to countries which have developed themselves on the basis of culture.

In his words “Here in Nigeria, culture is neglected to the back but it is about time we have what we call a mindset change and cultural rebirth and I think part of the training you are going to be exposed to is for you to be able to appreciate the place of culture in national development”.

He maintained that it is high time we stop seeing culture to be just about music and dance but about the totality of the way of life of the people, saying there is a vital relationship between culture and economy which is why NICO has being trying to interrogate in the last couple of years.

Erio 1The 2017/2018 academic session of the NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre has a total of 36 students registered. While 33 are admitted into the Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Administration, 4 students are currently admitted into the Advanced Diploma in Cultural Administration. Also worthy of note is that apart from NICO staff from the different locations who were nominated for the different programmes, the other students are from the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC); Federal Ministry of Information and Culture; Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC); and Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).

Other Management Staff present at the orientation programme were; Director of Administration & Human Resources, Mr. Ibrahim Husseini; Acting Director, Research & Documentation, Mr. Mike Ekoko; Head of Legal Services, Barrister Musa Kakamba; Deputy Director/SA to Ag. ES, Mr. Law Ezeh; Head of Finance & Accounts, Mr. Herbert Ogbe; Deputy Director (Administration), Mrs. Jane Anigala and Assistant Director (Documentation), Mrs. Maria Okpuzor among others.

Caleb Nor

Media Assistant to ES