The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) has expressed commitment to further partner with the Brazilian government on cultural matters, especially in the area of language.

Executive Secretary of NICO, Mallam Ado Muhammed Yahuza made this known on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 when the Brazilian Deputy Head of Mission in Nigeria, Ronaldo Vicira paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.

Mallam Ado Yahuza was of the belief that the Institute’s Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) could be a veritable cultural platform for NICO to partner with the Brazil.

His words: “I believe that as a nation and also as a cultural platform for Nigeria, NICO stands to gain a lot in relationship and partnership with you. We are the focal agency for UNESCO activities. We have partnered with UNESCO on 2003 and 2005 convention.

Ado Yahuza said that as Nigeria’s apex cultural training institute, NICO has a lot to offer in strengthening cultural ties with Brazil, since both countries have a long cordial relationship and share a lot in common in terms of population, multiculturalism, trade, leadership style and cultural diversity.

More so, the NICO ES who said the visit was a welcome development for the institute emphasized that it would give NICO an opportunity to discuss possible ways of partnership with the Brazilian government through its embassy in Nigeria. He stressed that language is key in fostering cultural resources and if learnt, would serve as a bridge for relationships among people in a country, and that language cements trade, brings about unity and interaction in day-to-day activities of a people.

Yahuza further affirmed that in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural society like Nigeria, one’s ability to speak indigenous languages other than their mother tongue gives the person an edge over and above someone who does not speak the language.

He was optimistic that Nigeria can learn from Brazil since it has been able to manage its cultural diversity well.

Responding, the Deputy Head of Mission, Ronaldo Vicira, who said he was in the Institute to present an opportunity for NICO to key into the UNESCO Chair on Multilingualism and cultural diversity of 2017 said his preference for NICO to partner in the Chair is informed by the teaching of indigenous languages in Nigeria by the Institute.

While expressing interest in the learning of Nigerian languages, especially the Yoruba Language, Vicira explained that the Chair is a research network of universities, institutes as well as specialized networks and academics from different countries to generate knowledge on the different contexts of multilingualism and language policies.

His words “I am here to present to you, the UNESCO Chair on multilingualism and cultural diversity. There are nine (9) Brazilian universities and about forty (40) around the world with no partnership in Nigeria. The proposal before you is for you to go through it and see if you want to be a partner or make recommendations for people who are interested in multilingualism. My first impression is that you are the best to partner with and the work you do in the Institute is a good food for thought for this Chair”.

The Executive Secretary presented NICO recent publications to the Deputy Head of Mission, Brazilian embassy in Nigeria, Ronaldo Vicira during the courtesy visit to get him abreast with the programmes and activities of the institute.

Present at the courtesy visit were the Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs Department, Mr. Alex Omijie; and Deputy Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Segun Adegbaju.

Njideka Dimgba & Caleb Nor
NICO Headquarters, Abuja.