The Secretary General, National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (NATCOM-UNESCO) in Nigeria, Dr. Olagunju Idowu has hailed the appointment of Otunba Biodun Ajiboye as Executive Secretary/CEO of the National Institute for cultural Orientation (NICO), saying it is a ray of hope for Nigeria when it comes to culture and the creative economy.

Dr. Olagunju disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday, January 25, 2024 while receiving the Executive Secretary who was in his office on a courtesy visit to seek NATCOM’s support, knowledge and direction towards achieving the mandate of the Institute.

According to him, the kind of energy the new ES has already brought on board within a short period towards repositioning the Institute will go a long way to change the narratives for the good of the culture and creative sector and the Nigerian economy in general.

While assuring him of the needed support to achieve his vision, Olagunju reiterated that NATCOM-UNESCO remains duty bond to ensure that no agency of government in Nigeria will miss any benefit emanating from UNESCO.

His words “UNESCO believes in collaboration, especially in the area of rubbing minds together to achieve a set goal and our special duty is to get benefits from UNESCO as much as possible. While I am here, Nigeria will not lose anything anymore. I will do my best for posterity to remember. We will continue to do our best to get available information from UNESCO and send it to the appropriate quarters for them to implement while we avail ourselves for technical support if the need arises”.

“For instance, anything that has to do with intangible culture matters, we forward it to NICO while those that has to do with tangible culture is forwarded to the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM). Where there are things that cuts across, both Institutions are called upon to collaborate”.

Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Otunba Biodun Ajiboye maintained that his basic interest is to drive the Institute’s core mandate and reposition it to take its right responsibility within the dictate of the Act that created it.

He maintained that the meeting was to give him the opportunity to make intentional inquiries and see how NATCOM-UNESCO can support the Institute in accessing funding opportunities for cultural development in the country.

“When I came on board, I realized that we need a little bit of energy to drive the core mandate of NICO to a recognized conclusion because the conversation between NICO and government has not been deep enough to make government give it what is due by recognizing what they are supposed to be”.

According to him, culture plays a very important role in human development and there is every need to properly redefine our cultural understanding as a nation towards incorporating it in our governance system.

The Executive Secretary was accompanied by the Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Segun Adegbaju and Head, Cultural Affairs, Hajiya Basirat Muse-Ajumobi among other support staff.

Caleb Nor
Media Asst.-ES
NICO, Abuja