Cultural Orientation Is Key To Achieve Our Change Mantra – Lai Mohammed

Written by Dr. Barclays Posted in nico news

The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said cultural orientation is key to achieving the change mantra of the President Muhamadu Buhari-led administration.

 The Minister was speaking at a 2-day Cultural Orientation and Sensitization programme organized for senior secondary students in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), in collaboration with the House Committee on Culture and Tourism of the National Assembly.

ChikRepresented by the Director-General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Mrs. Chika Balogun, the Minister said NICO’s sensitization and orientation programme, which aims at achieving attitudinal change, has brought to the fore, the need to appreciate our cultural values in our day to day activities, saying good cultural orientation remains a basic requirement for the success of the change campaign of the Federal Government.

 His words: “Promoting culture amongst the youths and harnessing young people’s creative potentials and energy needs to be a priority in finding solutions to today’s challenges. One of the major challenges facing Nigerian students today is the disconnection from their roots. This is because many of our cultural values that could help promote unity and development in our society has been relegated to the background.”

 Speaking earlier in a welcome address, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, said there is urgent need for the youths to appreciate the worth of Nigeria’s diverse but rich cultural endowments if we must maintain, defend, protect and develop our culture.

 To him, any agenda for national development that is devoid of a special place for the youths is deficient, saying the youths are very important members of the society, as they do not only serve as a bridge between the past, present and future, but are indeed the very embodiment of the future of the nation.

 Expressing regrets that our youths today have jettisoned the cultural norms and values set up by our forefathers, such as, respect for elders and authority, sanctity of life, being your brother’s keeper, which were sine-qua-non for an ideal society in the past, the NICO ES disclosed that it was in the bid to effectively sensitize and connect our youths firmly to their roots and provide them access to various resources of history, literature and culture, that the Institute established NICO Cultural Clubs in Schools as well as Children’s Cultural Extravaganza as a platform for students to engage meaningfully in cultural activities.

 Ayakoroma therefore said for Nigeria to return to the cultural realities, norms, values and ways of life that kept our forefathers united and focused, all hands must be on deck towards ensuring a cultural rebirth for a better Nigeria.

 Dignitaries present at event included the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, who was represented by the Deputy Chief Whip, Rt. Hon. Pally Iriase; Chairman, House Committee on Culture and Tourism, Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama; the Eson of Benin Kingdom, Chief Amos Osunbor; Director-General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), Dr. Ferdinand Anikwe; as well as Professor Marcellinus Okhakhu of the University of Benin, who was Guest Lecturer, among others.

 Facilitators of the programme from NICO were Mr. Alex Omijie (Director of Orientation & Cultural Affairs); Mr. Law Ezeh (SA to ES); Mr. Segun Adegbaju (Asst Director, Cultural Affairs), Mr. Okorodudu Oremu (Head, Audit Unit), among others.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja

NICO Training School Students Donate Chairs To Nike Arts Gallery Abuja

Written by Dr. Barclays Posted in nico news

Monday, the 21st day of November, 2016, will remain memorable to the Management and Staff of Nike Arts Gallery, Piwoyi, Abuja, as the out-going students of the Postgraduate Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Cultural Administration programmes of NICO Training School, Abuja Study Centre, donated 30 plastic chairs to Gallery.

The 2015/2016 Academic Session set of NICO Training School, popularly known as, Culture Diplomats, made this donation while on a Field School (Field Work) at the Nike Arts Gallery, located at Piwoyi, along Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Express Way (Airport Road) Abuja.

The students were taken around the Nike Arts Gallery for them to see different Nigerian Nigerian/indigenous art work, local fabrics, sculptures and other relevant artistic designs in the gallery.

Led on the visit by Mr. Michael Bush, a veteran journalist and broadcaster, the students, while thanking the Management and Staff of Nike Arts Gallery for their hospitality towards them, donated an undisclosed sum of money and 30 units of plastic chairs to the Gallery.

In his speech, Mr. Michael Olajide, who is a sculptor and teacher at the Gallery, thanked the NICO Training School students for their immeasurable support to Nike Arts Gallery, and assured the students of their support and partnership anytime their services would be needed.

Kenneth Okpete

NTS, Abuja Study Centre

 

9th AFAC Expo Opens In Abuja, Aims At Stimulating Investment In The Industry

Written by Dr. Barclays Posted in nico news

The 9th Edition of the African Arts and Crafts (AFAC) Expo 2016, organised by National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), a Parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, has opened in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, with the hope that this year's edition will promote the socio-economic integration and investment of the African Region.

 The AFAC Expo opening ceremony held at the Arts and Crafts Village, Cadastral Zone, Abuja, on Thursday, 17th November, 2016, with the theme: “African Arts and Crafts: A Catalyst for Investment in the Nigerian Creative Industries”, is a platform that brings all African arts and craftsmen together to showcase their creative ingenuity.

 Declaring the Expo open, the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, commended the organizers, for working assiduously towards the success of the event, as he echoed its importance, having attracted the participation of relevant stakeholders and several nations of the world, bringing to the fore the economic opportunities that abound in the creative industries, adding that Expo’s potentials should be properly harnessed to create employment, reduce poverty, rural-urban drift, arrest youth restiveness and many other societal vices.

 Lai Mohammed, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba, said the theme was not only apt but timely, as it was the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s desire to diversify the productive capacity of Nigeria's economy.

 The Minister also informed the august gathering that only a few months ago, his Ministry signed an MoU with the British Council, in Edinburgh, United Kingdom and Chief Tony Elumelu Foundation in Nigeria to further explore ways that the potentials of the creative industries can be harnessed for economic empowerment.

 He, therefore, urged both private individuals and corporate bodies to look inward, embrace and partner with the sector to enhance its economic growth, especially at this time of the country's renewed effort in promoting the non-oil sector and diversification of the economy through the zero oil economic policy.

 Earlier, the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mrs. Dayo Keshi, in her Welcome Address, had highlighted the prospects of the 2016 Expo of emphatically showcasing elements of good product design, finishing, packaging, and presentation, aimed at global market standards.

 Continuing, Mrs. Keshi re-emphasized the relevance of AFAC as a platform that brings together craftsmen from across the nation as well as the African Region and beyond to expand and grow the business of the Arts and Crafts Industry, share ideas and network with other practitioners in all the areas that relate to their areas of competence, such as, production, marketing, packaging, and presentation techniques, and meet and benefit from prospective investors amongst many other benefits.

 Speaking to the investors and why they should invest in the Arts and Crafts industry, the NCAC boss reiterated that investing in arts and crafts brings “high and rapid return on investment, brand recognition to businesses, foreign exchange earnings and preservation of our heritage, promotion of local and regional development, development of local skills and talents”, among other benefits.

 In his goodwill message, Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, was of the opinion that despite the details of arts and crafts, what was important to Nigerians was how these creative works of arts could translate to creating an alternative to oil, economic diversity and contribute to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

 He lent his voice in congratulating NCAC for organising the 9th edition of AFAC, assuring that the Senate Committee on Culture would work to assist all the Parastatals under it through legislation to make them function optimally and create wealth and entrepreneurship.

 The 2016 AFAC opening ceremony was well attended by foreign culture diplomats and ambassadors to Nigeria and stakeholders in the culture sector, notable among them were, Mrs. Ann Scott (High Commissioner of Jamaica to Nigeria); Hideki Sakamoto (First Secretary, Japan Embassy); Dep Qinjian (China Cultural Centre in Nigeria); Saeed Omidi (Embassy of Iran); Susan Angelobeda (Embassy of South Sudan); Mrs. Blandine Ndo (Embassy of Bukina Faso); as well as Dr. Lola Nkamayang (Embassy of Cameroon).

 Others were Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama (Chairman, House Committee on Culture and Tourism); Ambassador Joe Keshi (husband of the D-G, NCAC); Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma (Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO)); Mrs. Salley Mbanefo (Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC)); Dr. Ferdinand Anikwe (Director-General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC)); Mr. Abdullahi Muku (Director-General, National Gallery of Art (NGA); Alhaji Ibrahim Muazu (Executive Secretary, Kano State History and Culture Bureau); Dr. Aliyu Salau Director (Katsina State History and Culture Bureau); Mr. Law Ikay Ezeh (Deputy Director and SA to ES, NICO); Mrs. Franca Okoro (Asst. Director, Orientation, NICO), among others.

 The 9th edition of AFAC Expo will last till Thursday, 24th November, 2016.

 

Njideka Dimgba

NICO HQ, Abuja

NAFEST 2016: Information And Culture Minister Solicits Private Sector Partnership

Written by Dr. Barclays Posted in nico news

The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has appealed to the private sector to step up efforts towards exploring investment opportunities in the culture sector, adding that the sector had a prospective and great future and one of the potent tools to drive the development goals and aspirations of Nigeria.

Lai Mohammed stated this while speaking at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, during the closing ceremony of the 29th edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) 2016, organised by the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC).

KeshiRepresented by the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Mrs. Dayo Keshi, the Minister stated that the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture would partner with local and International bodies like Tony Elumelu Foundation and the British Council for human capacity development in the sector, and encouraged the private sector to show more than a passing interest in the creative sector.

He commended participants in this year’s NAFEST for their collective spirit, zeal and efforts, as well as the high display of creative excellence, including the high quality in the packaging of cultural products.

Lai Mohammed further stated that NAFEST 2016 had fulfilled the original concept of serving as a tool for national unity, given the high turn up of participants, despite the current recession, stressing that all over the world, the creative sector has continued to thrive in spite of economic down-turn.

In her remarks, the Director-General, NCAC, Mrs. Dayo Keshi, who was represented by Mr. Otuekong Nse Edem, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Akwa Ibom State, said that NAFEST 2016, with the theme, “Exploring the Goldmine Inherent in Nigeria’s Creative Industries”, was conceptualised to draw the attention of both the public and private sectors to the primary aim of the industry in this era of diversification.

She also highlighted the inclusion of children in the area of essay writing, drawing and poetry competitions in this year’s NAFEST, saying the festival has evolved into a veritable platform for projecting the diverse rich cultural heritage of the Nigerian people, as well as stimulating cultural awareness in the country.

In all, seventeen states participated in NAFEST 2016 with Bayelsa State emerging the overall winner, while the host state, Akwa Ibom State and the Federal Capital Territory, clinched the second and third positions, respectively.

The Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Associate Professor Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma was represented at the event by Ms Justina Akhilome, the NICO South-East Zonal Co-ordinator.

Recall that the Executive Secretary had few weeks ago visited and watched the rehearsals of the Bayelsa State Cultural Troupe in preparation for NAFEST 2016, where he encouraged and advised them as they put finishing touches to their preparations for the competitive drama event.  

Dignitaries that were in attendance at the closing ceremony included the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency Emmanuel Udom, represented at the occasion by Otuekong Emmanuel Ibiok, the Akwa Ibom Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism; Dr. Nkereuwem Edemekong, Director, Centre for Cultural Studies, University of Uyo, HRM Chief Effiong Archionga, the Paramount Ruler of Ibeno and Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs; and Ambassador Joe Keshi, husband of the DG, NCAC, amongst others.

Esther Ziprekumo

NICO SSZ      

NICO Kick-Starts Weekend Edition Of Indigenous Language Programme

Written by Dr. Barclays Posted in nico news

The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture is set to start the 2016 Weekend Edition of its Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP).

A Press Release signed by Caleb Nor on behalf of the Executive Secretary of NICO, Associate Professor Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, says the Weekend Edition of the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme is scheduled to kick-start from Saturday, 15th October, 2016 at the Institute’s Head Office, located on No. 23, Kigoma Street, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja-FCT and all the Institute’s zonal and state offices across the country.

In all, six (6) Nigerian indigenous languages are expected to be taught during the Weekend Edition of the programme which includes; Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Tiv, Efik and Gbagyi in the Abuja head office.

Meanwhile, participation in the programme is free for interested persons and lectures are expected to start from 12noon-4pm every Saturday and from 2pm-6pm on Sundays.

It is in line with NICO’s mandate of harnessing culture for national development that the Institute has, over the years, used its indigenous language programme platform for reviving interest in speaking our indigenous languages to avoid them from going into extinction.

Only recently, the Institute organized the one-month long version of intensive indigenous language programme, which attracted participants from the public and private sectors as well as diplomats, who applauded NICO’s efforts in reviving interest in our local languages.

Caleb Nor

Media Assistant to ES

NICO HQ, Abuja-FCT

Culture Minister Signs MoU With Elumelu Foundation

Written by Dr. Barclays Posted in nico news

SPEECH BY THE HON. MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE, ALHAJI LAI MOHAMMED, AT THE SIGNING OF THE MOU BETWEEN THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE AND THE TONY ELUMELU FOUNDATION IN LAGOS, ON TUESDAY, OCT. 4TH 2016

PROTOCOL

lai mohammedLet me formally welcome you all to this ceremony for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and the Tony Elumelu Foundation. This is the culmination of months of hard work on both sides. In this respect, let me thank my brother, Mr. Tony Elumelu. From the moment the idea of this MoU was conceived, he threw his entire weight – and of course that of his Foundation – behind all the efforts to bring it to fruition. My brother, thank you most sincerely.

2. Let me also thank the Chief Executive Officer of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ms. Parminder Vir, OBE (Order of the British Empire), and her entire team for their tireless efforts in putting together this partnership agreement. From our first meeting in April, which incidentally was held here at the National Theatre, she left me in no doubt about the feasibility of this partnership. Thank you, madam, for your vision and dedication to lifting the Creative Industries in our country.

3. From the time I assumed office as the Minister of Information and Culture, I have not missed any opportunity to tell anyone who cared to listen of my intention to develop our country's Creative Industries and also enhance its contribution to the national economy.

4. In this regard, I have always said the Creative Industries must be transformed to a Creative Economy for it to contribute more meaningfully to the nation's GDP, provide jobs for our teeming youths and also become a source of foreign exchange earnings for the country. It is in the realization of the potentials of this sector that I have gone on record as calling the Creative Industries, as well as Tourism, the new oil for Nigeria. This is no mere rhetoric at all.

5. Before going further, let's answer a question that must be agitating the minds of many. What is Creative Industry? Let's look at the definition that was developed by the UK in 1998, that the Creative Industries are those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have the potential for wealth and job creation, through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property. According to the definition, Creative Industries have the following 13 sub-sectors: Advertising, architecture, the art and antiques market, crafts, design, designer fashion, film, interactive leisure and software (i.e. video games), music, the performing arts, publishing, software, as well as Radio and Television.

6. For its part, UNCTAD, which is the UN Conference on Trade and Development, calls the Creative Industries the interface between creativity, culture, economics and technology as expressed in the ability to create and circulate intellectual capital, with the potential to generate income, jobs and export earnings while at the same time promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development.

7. With these definitions, it is clear the Creative Industries are bigger and wider than our traditional perception of the sector here, hence the inherent possibilities are also limitless, so to say. Little wonder, then, that the Creative Industries have turned around the fortunes of California in the United States, Mumbai in India, Turkey, Brazil, Dubai, Australia etc and made them economic giants. We can replicate same here, with the support of partners like the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Our Nollywood is one of the 3 largest film industries in the world. Our Music is fast becoming the most travelled music anywhere in the world. Our TV market with little or no formal production ecosystem is the largest on the continent. Our over 170 million people, 24 million TV households and the fastest growing mobile data penetration on the African continent constitute huge, added advantages. As a matter of fact, the ongoing digitization of television in Nigeria, which we are also undertaking, can create at least one million jobs in three years!

8. To reap the full potentials of the Creative Industries, we realized early on that we will need to reach out to organizations that have the capacity and the drive to assist us in achieving our goals, organizations that can utilize their business knowledge, network and technical expertise to assist the Ministry in the development of Nigeria’s Creative Industries. This explains why we entered into discussions with the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the British Council. The discussions have now yielded fruits. On August 24th, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland, we signed an MoU with the British Council. And today, we are signing another MoU with the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Together, we will work to re-position the Creative Industries in Nigeria.

9. I am excited at the prospect of working with the Tony Elumelu Foundation. It is a delight to know that the Foundation has bent over backwards to accommodate the Creative Industries within the bigger Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, which has the purpose of identifying, over 10 years, a total of 10,000 African start-ups and entrepreneurs with ideas that can generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and contribute at least 10 billion dollars in new annual revenues across Africa. This is the kind of visionary enterprise we need to fuel sustainable development across the African continent, and we are happy to be working with this Foundation.

10. The MoU we are about to sign will spell out the details of how we will work together to execute our partnership. More specifically, the areas of collaboration will include the creation of an enabling business environment for the creative industries with such incentives as easy access to finance; the structuring of the Creative Industries to enable it generate independent revenues locally and also boost exports to increase Nigeria's foreign exchange earnings; and comprehensive statistics about the Creative Industries, including its size and projections, to guide potential local and foreign investors.

11. An innovative part of the collaboration is the plan to convene a Creative Economy Task Force to map the Creative Industries to provide a better picture of what is happening on the ground and help inform policy development. We also plan to sign on a Consultant to measure the economic contribution of these industries to the Nigerian economy and provide a blueprint for action.

12. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I have hyped this partnership between our Ministry and the Tony Elumelu Foundation everywhere and every time I have spoken about the prospects of Nigeria's Creative Industries. This is because I believe strongly that the collaboration will be the much-needed catalyst to transform our Creative Industries to a Creative Economy. I have no doubt that our partner, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, also shares my strong belief in this regard. Let us both, therefore, put our shoulders to the wheel to ensure the success of this partnership.

13. We must make provision for concrete benchmarks to measure our progress in the implementation of this MoU. This will ensure that by the time we conclude the initial two-year period of this historic collaboration, no one will need to strain his eyes to see the achievements. It is important to note here that our efforts to lift the creative industries have received support at the highest level of our Administration. Last week, at an evening of conversation with the youth, President Muhammadu Buhari not only rallied support for the sector, he also directed that such support must reflect in the budget of the Ministry of Information and Culture in 2017. And now, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I say let the real work begin to bring our Creative Industries into the mainstream of the Nigerian economy.

14. I thank you all for your kind attention

Osofisan Formally Installed As 2016 Thalia Laureate

Written by Dr. Barclays Posted in nico news

Nigerian foremost playwright, scholar and literary giant, Professor Femi Osofisan, has been formally inducted as the winner of the prestigious Thalia Award by the UNESCO global partner in the Performing Arts – the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC).

The event, which was attended by over 150 world authorities in theatre criticism from 66 countries, took place on Tuesday, 27th September, 2016, at about 3:00pm Nigeria time, in the German Embassy in Serbia.

H.E. Chijioke Mchardy Ani (Head of Nigerian Mission in Serbia) and H.E. Mr. Heinz Georg Wilhelm (German Ambassador to Serbia) led the cream of the international community, who witnessed the glamorous event.

Osofisan has by the feat become the first African to be so recognized by the respected Thalia Award Committee. The Thalia Award is a unique professional honour next only to the Nobel Prize for Literature, which Prof. Wole Soyinka won in 1986.

Unlike the situation where a prophet is not recognized in his home, en route Belgrade to be installed as a Thalia laureate, the African continent had her opportunity to showcase Femi Osofisan, as its leading dramatist through an impressive ceremony in Egypt.

On the 20th September, he was honoured as one of the Icons of African Theatre at the 2016 edition of the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre. This also came few months after the Pan African Writers Association honoured Osofisan for his contributions to literary development of the African continent.

Osofis1Osofisan, in his acceptance speech as Thalia laureate, thanked the organizers for the life changing honour that has shifted global attention to African Theatre and Literature, which he believes has a lot more to offer humanity and the emerging global knowledge economy.

Also in the Nigerian delegation to Belgrade were Prof. Olu Obafemi (President, Nigeria Academy of Letters), Prof. Emmanuel Dandaura (President, IATC-Nigeria), Prof. Biodun Jayifo (Harvard University), Prof. Adenike Osofisan (U.I and wife to Thalia  laureate), and Mrs. Rhoda Dandaura (IATC-Nigeria).

Emmanuel S. Dandaura

President, IATC-Nigeria & 1st African Rep. on IATC Exco

From Belgrade

ANA Commends Ayakoroma And NICO For Support To Writers

Written by Dr. Barclays Posted in nico news

IMG 0389The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has commended the Executive Secretary/CEO, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Associate Professor Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, for his role and support to ensure that ANA is strategically positioned.

The National President of the umbrella body of writers in Nigeria, Mallam Denja Abdullahi, who stated this when the Local Organizing Committee for the 2016 ANA Annual Convention paid Prof. Ayakoroma a Courtesy Call at NICO Headquarters, Abuja-FCT, said ANA was highly elated and appreciative, not only for his role but for the support of writers in Nigeria by the Institute.

His words: “I am glad we have come to say thank you; because in ANA activities, you have always supported us. For instance, in our last annual convention in Kaduna, you played a very big role during the election. I must say that people like you have always ensured that things are done the proper way in ANA.”

He continued: “I am also elated to announce to you that our preparation for the 2016 ANA Convention is in top gear. I am here with the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Members for us to tell you the level of our preparedness.

“I am happy to let you know that ANA has concluded plans on how to stage your play, Dance on His Grave. The play was recently staged during the ANA Strategic Planning Workshop in July at Akwanga, Nasarawa State. It was really a very wonderful performance that the personalities there like Prof. Olu Obafemi (of University of Ilorin), Professor Akachi Ezeigbo (of University of Lagos), Prof Sunday Ododo (National President, Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists, SONTA), Prof. Emma Dandaura (former President, SONTA), among others, really commended the message of the play.

“So, in the 2016 ANA Convention that will take place in Abuja, between October 27th and 30th, we feel that the message of the play is apt. Meanwhile, we solicit your support for the staging of the play, and the support of NICO for the ANA Convention. We are happy to also tell you that we have worked on a documentary that captures the history of ANA from 1981 till date. ”

IMG 0384In his response, Prof. Ayakoroma expressed his joy for the visit, saying that as a member of ANA, he fills fulfilled to play any role that will take the body of writers to greater heights.

He said: “The election was tasking; but I must say that I feel fulfilled that it was transparently conducted. Given the place of the writer in Nigerian society, we have to show good example in everything we do; and the election of those that will steer the affairs of the association is a very good example. Once more, I congratulate you for emerging as the president in that well conducted and transparent election”.

On Dance on His Grave, the ES said he felt honoured that ANA will stage his play during the convention, and promised that he will see what could be done to support the project, adding that given the economic situation in the country, the Institute cannot make any definite commitments at the moment.

Members of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the 2016 ANA Convention with the National President were Jerry Adesewo, Dauda Abubakar, Salamatu Sule, and Yuwa Daya; while the NICO’s Director, Cultural Affairs and Orientation, Mr. Alex Omijie, Deputy Director/SA to ES, Mr. Law Ikay Ezeh, Head of Finance & Accounts, Mr. Ogbe Alfred Herbert, and Head of Procurement, Mr. Pius Kemepade, were NICO Staffers present.

Nwagbo Pat Obi

NICO Training School

Abuja Study Centre

CBAAC Plans FESTAC @ 40 Celebration

Written by Ama Posted in nico news

It will be 40 years in February 2017, when Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) was last celebrated in Nigeria’s former capital city, Festac 2Lagos. That was back in 1977, after its first outing in Dakar, Senegal in 1966.

Already, the Director-General, Sir Ferdinand Anikwe is making spirited plans to celebrate the 40th Year Anniversary of that landmark event that showcased the immense diversity of the culture of the black race.

Anikwe’s Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), the institutional body and secretariat that emerged from FESTAC 77 to oversee future festivals and documents that emanated from it, is already reaching out to blacks within Africa and the Diaspora and friends of Africa to support and be part of the 40th anniversary celebration.

In an interview in his office on Broad Street, Lagos, Anikwe is upbeat about the celebration, saying it would re-enact in a small way how FESTAC 77 event happened, especially for young Nigerians who were not born at the time. He said it would also evoke nostalgia among older folks, who witnessed the last one.

According to Anikwe, “We want to re-enact the experiences of FECTAC 77 because I witnessed it as a young man back then. It was the year I wrote my WAEC. A singular, cultural event like FESTAC has not happened in a long time now. One of the reasons why we want to commemorate FESTAC is that we want to recapture the physical display of cultural knowledge and creativity, the cultural experiences of visual arts, performances and so on. In our office here, you will see the portraits of 59 former African presidents and six other communities that participated in FESTAC.

“One significant impact of FESTAC was the mobilisation of Africans and everything African to liberate the rest of Africa that were still under the clutches of imperialism and colonialism. This was at the centre of most of the intellectual displays that took place”.

Anikwe 2Anikwe also praised the intellectual output of FESTAC 77, adding, “Some of the most important legacies of FESTAC were the colloquiums. The colloquium papers of FESTAC are among the finest documents one can get anywhere. Recently, we spoke to Wole Soyinka on commemorating FESTAC at 40 and he was excited. We played clips from FESTTAC 77, where he made presentations as a young man. He was a firebrand scholar, very young and he showed his intellectual direction. When I asked Prof. Soyinka whether the position he held at that time still holds today, he said, “yes, without apology.”

Anikwe lamented world economic imbalances, which has the black man in stark disadvantage on almost all fronts. As he put it; “The politics and economics have so much degraded the African continent and its peoples. Soyinka felt that the continent has been deprived historically. The kind of unique opportunities presented by FESTAC in the early days of Soyinka no longer exists, and we want such opportunities, no matter how small they may be. That way, scholars of Africa can convert contemporary challenges in their world to something positive. Today, we are saying that contemporary issues demand contemporary suggestions and ideas, and we can only draw from our pool of history, from our scholars, our culture and environment.”

The CBAAC Director-General noted that he was reaching out to friends of Africa all over the world to be part of this unique celebration. He envisaged that celebrating FESTAC@40 would present Africa the opportunity to correct certain misconceptions and misrepresentations about the continent.

According to him, “We are inviting people of African decent and we are also extending invitations to Europe, America, the Caribbean and the Americas. They will see how we do things through our culture and, of course, this includes the promotion of our own artists. Nollywood has encapsulated significant ideas to the whole world and other people are now coming to learn from us. When I was going through the document of FESTAC, I saw that filmmakers like Hubert Ogunde and others were among the prominent organisers of FESTAC. Current Nollywood took over from those that prepared the way for FESTAC. So, if we are able to package programmes through Nollywood, then the whole world will see and learn. And more importantly, there will be money flowing into the country from outside”.

Anikwe said he was expecting funding for the celebration to come from the private sector, international donor organisations and from businessmen and women, adding, “We are reaching out to international bodies that are interested in culture.”

He also noted that not only filmmakers but the entire culture sector would be part of the pan-African celebration.

On hosting venues, Anikwe said former capital city, Lagos, where FESTAC was originally held in 1977, and Abuja, Nigeria’s current capital city, would host the events. He added, “We have divided the venue between Lagos and Abuja. But obviously, Lagos is the home of FESTAC; National Theatre is here, as well as, FESTAC 77 Hotel. We are also trying to collaborate with the Lagos State government to play some roles for us in terms of security and infrastructure. As you know, Lagos will be 50 years next year. So we want Lagos State to partner with us. Some of our guests, for instance, Brazilians, have chosen to be in Lagos, and some other people have also chosen Lagos.

For the first time, the CBAAC boss explained why FESTAC has not been held since 1977, when Lagos hosted it during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s era as military head of state. Anikwe said Ethiopia would have been the next host after Lagos, but political instability in that country on the scheduled year scuttled that proposition. Ever since, hefty funding required to host the cultural fiesta has also contributed to the disinterest from most countries.

As it is, Anikwe said Nigeria was given official mandate to be custodian of FESTAC materials and from where all FESTAC-related activities would be pursued. With increasing difficulties in hosting the festival on the grand scale in 1977, Anikwe said he was exploring the possibility of organising African countries to contribute cultural troupes as part of contingents to the bi-annual African Cup of Nations football fiesta. That way, Anikwe said, a continent-wide cultural celebration would be held in the Cup of nation’s host country and kept alive to take advantage of the following football engenders.

Culled from: http://guardian.ng/art/cbaac-plans-festac40-celebration/

Welcome Address - Igboukwu New Yam Festival

Written by Dr. Barclays Posted in nico news

A Welcome Address presented by Mazi Okafouzu Ugochukwu, the Executive Secretary, Inter-Agency Committee on Culture and Tourism Development of the South-East Zone, on the occasion of Iri Ji Ndi Igbo National New Yam Festival 23rd-27th August, 2016, at National Yam House, Etiti Village, Igboukwu, Aguata LGA of Anambra State, Nigeria

All Protocols:

Iji IriIt is with joy and gladness that all of us gathered here today to celebrate the best cultural, tourism, economic, political, agricultural, ethnic and religious festival given to us by God through our great ancestor Igbo from the foundation of Igbo race and nation. The unity of any group of people is guaranteed by their culture which is a product of their religious belief.

Culture and religion are inseparable because one compliments the other. Any attempt to separate the duo means disaster for the other. Therefore, the way one is upheld makes the other to be relevant and vice versa. Our culture has come to stay and will be religiously celebrated in accordance with the spirit of our great ancestor Igbo. No one can validly deny Igbos of Nigeria their Iri Ji cultural celebrations within Christianity as our religion. Since Christianity has become an Igbo man religion it can no longer be separated from Igbo man culture without doing eternal damage to Igbo mans cultural belief.

We are grateful to the federal government who has elevated the festival to an international status and has contributed much to it in terms of packaging to reach international bench mark expected of a race festival because it is an identical and unique culture of a race in the world under the auspices of UNESCO. Therefore, Iri Ji Ndi Igbo National New Yam Festival has started playing its role as a cultural and tourism hub in the wheel of culture and tourism development of the entire south east zone of the country.

We call on all state governments in the South-East zone to leverage on this platform for their states culture and tourism potentials development and as a catalyst in the much needed improvement in the states Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Anambra State government has taken the lead and others are expected to follow soon. This body is ever ready to partner with any state in the development of their culture and tourism master plan.

Besides, we are grateful to His Excellency, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano – Akpokuedike Global the Executive Governor of Anambra State who gave this body audience at Governors Lodge, Awka and gave us an unprecedented support towards packaging and showcasing of this year's events. His aid has helped us tremendously and we use this medium to declare our total support to his second term bid in office which he truly deserved for he has worked well for the state and indeed lgboland.

Among his numerous achievements was the creation of the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Culture and Tourism which was the first of its kind in the whole of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This ministry is strategic because it gave the Igbos living outside their homeland voice and sense of belonging thereby achieving the spirit of APGA which uses "Onye aghana nwanne ya" as a slogan. This singular act has made him to be the leader of Igbos. In view of this we the Igbo people and race have decided to honour with a title of Onye Ndu Ndi Igbo (Igbo leader) from today onwards and our traditional rulers are expected to put their seal on this declaration today through conferment ceremony. Moreover, as a landmark of this historic conferment in the sands of time and history we will unveil your statue at the permanent festival arena of this national cultural festival of the Igbo race and nation. His Excellency, you are one of the great men which our race has produced and we are proud of you.

We are ever grateful to the great role played by the Hon. Barr. Stella Onuorah – the Honourable Commissioner of Diaspora Affairs, Culture and Tourism and Hon. Cyril Agupugo – the Senior Special Assistant Diaspora Affairs for their wonderful role in the planning of this year's festival.

To all the dignitaries who attended this festival, we are eternally grateful to you and your support. It is our own and everybody is a major stakeholder and we have the best in the country. We thank the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese whose Eze Muo dynasty has brought in many goodies for us and we are growing from strength to strength.

Furthermore, we are equally grateful to the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and all the Directors-General of this Federal Ministry for their support which knows no bound. Your support these years can never be in vain for it has helped us to improve a lot in the packaging of the festival.

Ndi Eze Ndi Igbo in Diaspora Council, HRH Eze Chukwuebuka Onunkwo - Eze Ndi Igbo Benin Republic and Traditional Prime Ministers Council Anambra State, Onowu Sir Anthony Enukeme JP – Onowu Neni has shown enough support to us and all of you have become our greatest ally. We will like you to maintain an office inside the National Yam House because you are also a stakeholder in the showcasing of this festival.

We humbly ask the Anambra State government to give this festival a befitting outlook by provision of the following:

  1. A functional and branded vehicle preferably Toyota Hummer Bus which other similar national festivals like Argungun and Osun Oshogbo has.
  2. Actualization of the Governors promise of tarring of the road that leads to the Yam House up to Ekwulumili High Way during this year's dry season.
  3. Energizing the Yam House with a Transformer.
  4. Support to rehabilitate our Secretariat and Office at Nkwo Igboukwu market which was set ablaze by the enemies of the State Government and where over four million naira worth of properties was destroyed.

We are ever grateful to Chief Dr. (Mrs.) Sally Mbanefo-Uwechue – Ona Mma Ndi Igbo - the Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) for bringing in the ambassadors of different countries of the world to this event. Majority of our people claim to have migrated from Schechem – a city in Israel; and we call on Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria to set up a commission to dig into this history of Igbo Israeli Origin and make known their findings. We are ready to collaborate with them in this historical research.

Finally, we will do our best to promote and showcase the traditions and cultures of our great ancestors and to use same to develop our base as a distinct race in the world. Until then may Ezechitaoke na Chukwuabiamaghi bless us in Jesus name. Amen!

Happy Iri Ji Ndi Igbo festival to all and sundry. Thanks

Mazi Okafouzu Ugochukwu

Executive Secretary

Inter-Agency Committee

South East Zone

GSM: 08024928490

Participants Of NILP Applaud NICO, Advocate For Extension

Written by Dr. Barclays Posted in nico news

Participants of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) organized Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) in the South-South Zonal Office of the Institute have applauded NICO for organizing such an educative and important learning exercise.

The spokesperson for the participants, Mrs. Paul Charles Diseye, made the commendation at the closing ceremony of the just concluded 8th edition of the NILP, on Monday, 5th September, 2016, at the office complex, located at No. 51, Imgbi Road, Amarata, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

In her appreciation speech, Mrs. Diseye, from the Bayelsa State Ministry of Women Affairs, commended NICO on behalf of the participants for organizing the language programme, which had provided a veritable platform for them to learn other Nigerian languages order than their own, appealing for the Institute to extend the exercise beyond one month period to enable participants improve their mastery of the languages taught.

 

Earlier in his address, presented by the Director/Coordinator, NICO South-South Zonal Office, Mr. Nelson Ebi Campbell, the Executive Secretary/CEO of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubri Ayakoroma, appreciated the participants for their commendable conduct and dedication to their studies all through the one month exercise.

The ES reminded them that indigenous language is all about who we are as it is what we use in transmitting our culture from one generation to the other, adding that the programme was part of NICO’s responsibility in creating cultural direction and relationship to meet social integration, peace, unity and national development.

Prof. Ayakoroma further urged them to speak and put into practice the languages they were taught so that they can get acquainted with them.

The Coordinator of the exercise in the Zonal Office and Head, Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Gloria Ephraim, who gave the vote of thanks, also commended the participants for their maturity and good behaviour throughout the exercise, assuring them that their yearning for the extension of the programme will be communicated to the appropriate authorities in the Institute.

Certificates and examination results were presented to participants, who in turn presented songs in Nigerian indigenous languages to entertain guests at the occasion.

Participants of the programme this year included officers from the Bayelsa State Ministry of Women Affairs, Bayelsa State Council for Arts and Culture, NICO Staffers, and the general Public.

Egiobu Rex-Ogbuku, Esther Ziprekumor & Ifeoma Oputa

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO SSZ

 

 

Government Ought To Pay More Attention To NICO, Says Kanu Agabi (SAN)

Written by Dr. Barclays Posted in nico news

A legal luminary, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), has drawn the attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the activities of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), saying the Institute is one of Nigeria’s most important agencies and that government must give it the needed support so that it can effectively carry out the mandate.

Chief Agabi, who said this, Monday, 22nd August, 2016, during a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, at the NICO Headquarters, located at No. 23, Kigoma Street, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja-FCT, stressed that NICO’s existence is important to the country because of the role it has to play in drawing Nigerians back to their roots.

He however regretted that despite the obvious fact that Nigeria’s greatest problem is that of inadequate cultural reorientation, government still does not pay adequate attention to agencies like NICO, saying: “There are things that you should be telling Nigerians and insisting on them. You should have powers to dictate to the television and radio stations, what kind of programmes they should show and to do that, we must go back to our roots”.

Continuing, he said: “We are a nation without roots because we despise our roots. We have complex whereas we ought to be a proud people. You listen to radio, they are playing foreign music, you watch TV, there are showing foreign films, we bear foreign names and it is a disgrace. Why are we still bearing foreign names? You go to church and they play foreign music and wear foreign clothes. Of course we live in a globalised world and we must socialize but we cannot forget our roots so completely.”

He therefore encouraged the leadership of NICO never to relent in its efforts towards carrying out its mandate of cultural orientation, even if it does not receive the needed encouragement it ought to have from the government.

In his response, the ES of NICO, Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, reiterated that the Institute, as an agency of government under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, has the responsibility of sensitizing the citizenry on cultural matters.

He further disclosed that NICO came into existence in 1993 as an initiative of UNESCO and the Federal Government of Nigeria, because UNESCO felt many development programmes in member countries were failing because the cultural component of development was not taken into consideration and therefore saw the need for member nations to look at the centrality of culture in their development process, hence the establishment of NICO.

He assured that NICO, under his leadership, will not relent in carrying out its mandate of reorienting Nigerians towards living a culture-oriented lifestyle, so that people will appreciate the country’s cultural diversity and their cultural endowments.

Chief Agabi was accompanied to NICO on the courtesy visit by Martin Odey, Esq.; while Mr. Alex Omijie (Director, Orientation & Cultural Affairs), Mr. Law Ezeh (Deputy Director/SA to ES) and Mr. Herbert Ogbeh (Head, Finance & Accounts), were with the ES, NICO.

Caleb Nor

Corporate Affairs Unit

NICO, Abuja

nico footer logoYou are welcome to the Website of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO). The National Institute for Cultural Orientation, a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation was established by Act 93 of 1993.