Students from the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) Training School, Abuja Study Centre, on Monday, October 29, 2018 displayed diverse indigenous foods from different ethnic groups at a seminar, organized with the theme: “Showcasing/Exhibition of Indigenous and Ceremonial Foods”, in fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Advanced Diploma in Cultural Administration.

The seminar which was held at the Institute’s headquarters as part of assessment for the course: “Nigerian Food Culture” was aimed at promoting and showcasing Nigerian indigenous foods and drinks to foster cultural diplomacy.

The Coordinator of Abuja Study Centre of NICO Training School, Dr. Regina Onouha said for the students to fully participate in a course, such student must be part of the continues assessment which takes 30 per cent and the examination which has 70 per cent scores. She also disclosed that the mode of assessing students is dependent on the course lecturer either through assignments or practical “Some people can give assignments, but for this course, the course lecturer wants the students to practicalize it which will serve as their assessment”.

Dr. Onouha who revealed that the student’s assessment will be based on three criteria including presentation, quality and taste of food, said over the years, the practical aspect of assessing students has boosted the training process in the school. “This practical aspect has gone a long way to boost what we are doing in the training school because it affords students the opportunity to come together and know about some of our foods. Like today, each student is presenting a particular food from his or her state or geo-political zone thereby, giving other students from different geo-political zones, the opportunity to have a taste of food from another state or zone”.

She maintained that such activities will enforce unity among Nigerians as the students get to know more about foods from places other than their own, saying the NICO Training School remains a veritable platform where participants are given the opportunity to know more about culture and keep them informed.

The course lecturer, Mr. Kenneth Okpete, on his part, lamented the current trend where most people place preference on foreign foods against indigenous foods, saying local foods are richer and fresher, compared to most of the intercontinental dishes that people clamour for nowadays.

Asked of his preference for practical over assignments as a way of assessing the students, Okpete said “You cannot talk about food from a particular ethnic group without knowing what it is all about. You have to taste it because it is when you taste the food that you will be able to tell another person about the food”.

In all, five (5) students (four from the north and one from the south) participated in the food seminar where a panel of six (6) examiners evaluated their performance. They are Ramatu Ahmed Aliyu from Jigawa state who cooked Waina Da Miya (rice cake and soup); Hassan Abdulrahman from Kebbi state who cooked Tuwon Shiknafa and Miyan Ganye (vegetable); Abraham Danladi Wanga from Plateau state who cooked Gus Gus; Mrs. Salome Augustine Nwaro from Imo state who cooked Akpu and Ofeoha soup, Ugba and palm wine; and Mrs Tanyigna Husseina Bulus from Nasarawa state who cooked pounded yam and Akagi soup.

Among the examiners were: Alhjai Ibrahim Husseini (Director, Administration & Human Resources); Mrs. Jane Anigala (Deputy Director, Administration); Barr. Musa Kakamba (Deputy Director/Head, Legal); Dr. Regina Onouha (Coordinator, NTS, ASC); Mrs. Franca Okoro (Assistant Director, Cultural Affairs); and Mrs. Alice Ogbedu (Principal Cultural Officer).

Caleb Nor

Media Asst. to Ag. ES