Post Graduate Diploma Students at the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) Training School, Abuja Study Centre have called on the federal government to increase funding for NICO’s cultural training programmes, saying lack of adequate funding is responsible for the low level of awareness and participation in the programme.

NICO, an agency of government under the federal ministry of information and culture is the apex cultural training institute in Nigeria, saddled with the responsibility of human capacity training in the culture sector and runs two academic training centres in Abuja and Lagos, leading to the award of Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Administration.

A Postgraduate student at the Abuja Study centre, Mr. Awah Stephen who spoke to NICO News, said the academic training programmes of the Institute are indeed laudable and enriching but government must give it more attention, if Nigerians must benefit from activities of the Institute.

In his words “All the activities here have really been so enriching. In fact, I am a scientist diverting into cultural administration at the moment. It is something so wonderful and I feel that the government needs to pay more attention to the Institute’s programmes so that people can be well informed in order to take advantage of the huge gains in the services rendered by the Institute”.

“Sincerely, I got to know about this programme by chance. People don’t really know about the organization and its wonderful activities. It was in the process of discussing with a friend of mine about the book I wrote concerning culture that he advised me to go to NICO Training School to develop my talent. It was then that I got to know about the Institute”.

Awah while commending NICO for exposing many Nigerians to the rich cultural heritage of the country through its numerous programmes, said such programmes will not only be beneficial to foreign cultural attachés in Nigeria but will also let the foreign nationals know that we are one culturally.

Another student, Mrs Edoja Esther who is a staff of the Institute said although she had mixed feelings about the training programme at inception, the knowledge and deep understanding of the principles of cultural administration she has gained is of great value to her.

“My experience from the period of nomination to the point of registration came with mixed feelings. At first, I felt I was not going to cope but so far, a lot of knowledge has been impacted in me academically in terms of understanding the principles of administration and a host of other philosophical aspects of culture through field of study”.

She said as a cultural officer in the Research and Documentation Department, she has picked interest in the area of museums, which she said was a big business venture that can attract a lot of foreign exchange earnings if a nation like Nigeria can venture into it.

Earlier in an interview, the Coordinator of Abuja Study Centre of the school, Dr. Regina Onouha said reports on the impact of the training school on students who have passed through the programme is encouraging as there are testimonies improved productivity from their various places of work.

In the words “The NICO Training School is a veritable avenue through which participants are trained to perform higher amongst their equals in the work place and keep them going in the ladder of work progression and the programme is opened to everybody both in public and private sector”.

According to her, the Institute is doing everything possible to reach out to the public to keep them informed and educate them on the need to participate in the training programme which aims at providing a platform for cultural officers, motivators and communicators to be grounded in cultural administration, policy analysis and cultural diplomacy objectives for the overall development of the culture sector in Nigeria.

Muhammed Onotu Muhammed

Corporate Affairs Unit,