The Honourable Minister of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musa Musawa has disclosed that the ministry under her watch will give priority attention to the programmes of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) by empowering the agency towards achieving it cultural orientation mandate.She made this known on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 while responding to the Executive Secretary/CEO of NICO, Ado Muhammed Yahuza who led members of his management team to make a presentation before her on the mandate and activities of the Institute.According to her, the issue of cultural orientation is so vital and important to Nigeria that it cannot be over-emphasized, hence her resolve to bring different initiatives that will empower relevant agencies that can help in pushing it, not only to the education sector but to the very grassroot.Hannatu also commended Yahuza for his passion for cultural orientation in the country, saying he is indeed a round peg in a round hole who does not only understand the importance of cultural orientation but also committed to ensuring that cultural orientation is taken to the grassroots, which she said is the very base of our being. Her words “I think the reason why you spoke so passionately as you did is because of the importance of cultural orientation. When you talk about cultural orientation, it is mainly about us knowing where we came from and who we are and I think the issue of cultural orientation is vital and important to Nigeria”.“One cannot really over-express the importance of cultural orientation on everything in being a Nigerian at the moment. For me, cultural orientation is one that needs to be at the very top on our agenda. From my team, we have devised different initiatives that we think can help and also try to empower your agency and other agencies to help push the issue of cultural orientation not only to the education sector but to the very grassroot”.“Cultural orientation is extremely very important. If some of our young generation understand the importance of our traditions, they will not do some of the things they do because they understand the value of our culture”.“I guarantee you that you have all the support you need to ensure that everything is done to empower your agency to make sure you achieve your mandate. We’ll also come up with other new initiatives, measures and programmes that will be appealing because we have to remember that we are in a digital age where most of our young people have gone digital already and have to make it work with the digital space to see how we can sell some of these our cultures not only to the young people but also older people who may not know it to transform or transport our orientation even to Nigerians who are not in Nigeria”.Earlier in his presentation, Ado Yahuza briefed the Minister on how the Institute came into existence, its objectives, vision, mission and organizational structure with offices across the six geo-political zones to be able to engage in cultural orientation across the nation and as well, tap into the cultural resources of this country.He informed the Minister of the core programmes of the Institute which include the NICO Training School, offering Postgraduate Diploma and Diploma in Cultural Administration; organizing of short courses for cultural officers on request, particularly from arts and culture agencies; the indigenous language programme which is divided into the One-month-long vacation edition; the weekend edition as well as the language in the barracks edition; the National Conference on Culture, Peace and National Security where a lot of papers on topical issues are presented by professionals proffering solutions in the interest of national development.Others are the NICO Culture Clubs which is a platform where children are thought cultural norms, values, and the nitty gritty of different cultures in terms of dress, cuisines; the Children’s Cultural Fiesta where we have competitive cultural activities were children from different schools come together to display their culture knowledge among others.The Executive Secretary was accompanied by the Director of Research & Documentation, Mr. Michael Ekoko; Deputy Director (HRM), Alhaji Ndaman; Head, Corporate Affairs Unit, Mrs. Adetutu Muku and Head of Orientation Unit, Gloria Ephraim.Caleb NorMedia Asst.-ESNICO, Abuja