NICO Students Advocate Use Of Culture As Instrument For Regional Integration

Students undergoing the one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Administration (PGDCA) programme of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) Training School, Lagos have emphasized the centrality of cultural diplomacy as a veritable instrument for achieving meaningful integration among Member States of regional bodies in the various continents of the world.

This was a major submission that ran through the papers presented by members of Panel Four (4) at the “Seminar in Cultural Diplomacy” on Wednesday, 28th October, 2015, at Lecture Hall II of the NICO Training School, National Theatre Annex, Iganmu-Lagos, an idea course idea initiated by the course lecturer, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, NICO’s Executive Secretary and Visiting Associate Professor at Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK).

In his paper, entitled, “The Role of the European Union (EU) in Sustaining Cultural Integration among Member States,” Mr. Ifeanyi Nwaomu noted that the establishment of the 28-Member States community was aimed, among other things, to give Member States an opportunity for free trade and movement, as well protecting and imposing tariffs on non-EU Members, among others.

He contended that the EU has used the instrumentality of Grand Tour of Europe, UEFA Champions League, the Euro as a unified legal tender, festivals such as the Paris Grand Parade, Avignon and Edinburgh Festivals, as vehicles for promoting not only cultural but also socio-economic and political integration within the geographical expression referred to as Europe.

Mr. Olushola Adeyemi, in his presentation, “The African Union as a Tool for Sustaining Socio-Economic Development and Cultural Diplomacy,” argued that the transformation of the African Union (AU) has repositioned it as a stronger administrative mechanism with greater powers of intervention in the affairs of Member states than its predecessor.

The AU, he continued, has used its leverage to create and maintain peace-keeping force for intervention in crisis-ridden areas and as well attract the services of medical practitioners and health facilities.

On the other hand, Mr. Olusola Aina, delivering a paper, entitled, “The Role of Culture in the Development of the Asian Tigers,” averred that the practice of Confucianism, “an existential and political philosophy that preaches values of openness, loyalty, hard work, respects for constituted authority, among others, gave room for a corrupt free society.”

To him, ethnic homogeneity, racial and religious harmony, and the level of technological advancement the Asian Tigers have attained are rooted in their cultures, noting that high rate of school enrolment, the quality and standardisation of exported products as well as slow growth of controllable population all account for their economic development indices.

He further posited that the exportation of Korean films, information and communication gadgets, like Acer and LG, coupled with the export of their local sports, especially Taekwondo are instruments used by the Asian Tigers to achieve their cultural diplomacy objectives.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, the Lecturer in-Charge of the Cultural Diplomacy course, commended the presenters, disclosing that seminar was a practical experience for students, which is a display of their knowledge of Cultural Diplomacy, as against the theories learnt in class.

In attendance were the Director, NICO Lagos, Liaison Office, Mr. Louis Eriomala; Director, NICO Training School, Lagos, Mrs. Brigitte Yerima; Deputy Director/Special Assistant to the ES, Mr. Law Ikay Ezeh; an external resource person for Yoruba Language in the Training School, Mr. Abayomi Lagada; President, National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), Mr. Tunde Obalana, other students and staffers of the Institute.

Meanwhile, those interested in attending the NICO Training School for the 2015/2016 Academic Session can download the application form from the Institute’s website: www.nico.gov.ng or visit any of the NICO Offices in Abuja, Akure, Enugu, Gombe, Ibadan, Ilorin, Katsina, Lagos, Minna, Owerri, Yenagoa and Yola to collect the form.

Lanre Arepo

Corporate Affairs

NICO TS, Lagos

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