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 NACD Home An initiative of The Presidency in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Tourism Culture and National Orientation     ABOUT THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

 

 

    NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CULTURAL ORIENTATION (NICO)

The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) is a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the approved Nigerian Project by UNESCO at the World Decade for Cultural Development Programme (1988 – 1997).

The Institute came into existence under decree 93 of 1993 as the joint initiative of the Nigerian Government and UNESCO, statutorily to emphasize the cultural dimension of development. 

 


Under the joint arrangement however, the Institute was established with the primary sponsibility  of promoting positive cultural values and harnessing culture for National Development.

OBJECTIVES / FUNCTIONS

            According to subsection 3 (i) (a) and (b) and 2 (a-g) of section 3 of the Decree, the  objectives and functions of the Institute are as follows:

        Serves as a focus for Orientation in cultural matters for Nigerian Policy makers and other government officials;

        Develop cultural materials for promoting the cultural image of Nigeria nationally and internationally and use them for the realization of the nation’s cultural diplomacy objectives;

        Train cultural development officers who will integrate Nigeria’s culture into the educational system at all levels to facilitate the practical application of Nigerian culture in every day activity;

        Promoting and developing relevant curricula aimed at integrating Nigeria’s culture to effectively mobilize Nigerians towards a culture-oriented lifestyle;

        Sponsor and undertake research into all aspects of Nigerian arts and culture.


PROGRAMMES AND ACTIVITIES

The Institute’s cultural orientation activities are executed through intellectual and practical programmes of Training, Research and Documentation.  NICO’s cultural research programmes explore and articulate policies on Nigerian cultural imperatives by creating awareness on the cultural realities of Nigeria, the diverse ethnic nationalities, their characteristics, languages and the need to harness these for national integration, peace and unity.  At various for a, and using appropriate media, the Institute focuses on the need to re-establish the old, tested values of integrity, fairness, selfless service and mutual respect in public and private life among others.  Also, the Institute creates awareness on the need to respect and accept the sanctity of life and equality of our ethnic nationalities irrespective of size, stage of development and bring this fact to the notice of Nigerian policy makers at national, state and local government levels.

As a training Institute for cultural workers and a second school for policy makers in the area of cultural re-orientation, it has organizes conferences, workshops and public lectures on specific national issues.

RESEARCH PROGRAMMES

In Nigeria, there is need to pay more attention to the cultural implications of our socio-cultural, socio-economic and political integration / development.  In achieving these, researchers and surveys were conducted on “Indigenous Food Culture in Nigerian Hotels”.  “The Cultural Content of the Educational Curriculum in Nigeria”, “A Survey of Nigerian Core Values and Beliefs”.  However, of recent, the Institute compiled Nigerian Proverbs and Wise Sayings with Emphasis on Children.  The project is designed to make our youths think and act as Nigerians through the understanding of indigenous wisdom as encapsulated in proverbs, wise sayings, anecdotes and life philosophy.  It is the Institute’s belief that a thorough study of proverbs on themes such as hardwork, discipline, cooperation, obedience and so on, would help build the society of our dream, create better understanding and above all, enable the youths share in the heritages of  bygone ages, the experience of the present and the promise of the future for them.  A country like Nigeria, with several languages and diverse cultures should pay greater attention to means of communicating community wisdom from one generation, what to do, what is expected or not in specific circumstances and milieu so that the Nigeria society would survive.

PUBLICATIONS

There is the publication of the Institute’s organized conferences, seminars and workshop proceedings.  Some of the works published of recent include:

a.                  Culture and Education for Peace

b.                  Perspectives in Nigeria’s Cultural Diplomacy

c.                  Cultural Diversity and National Development

d.                  Culture of Morality in Nigeria

These materials serve as useful reference materials for exchange of ideas/views by professionals, cultural communications; such as cultural attaches, policy makers, cultural workers / students in the management of the nation’s vast cultural resources.

CULTURAL LIBRARY

The Institute has a modern and well-stocked cultural library in its training office complex in Lagos.  The Library is to serve as a reference center for all sources, publications from national and international institutions.  The Library will encourage the presentation and promotion of Nigerian Culture for students, researchers and stakeholders.  Lastly, the Library is to serve as a reservoir for data collections and other varying needs of the public.

DOCUMENTATION

Documentation occupies a central position in our task of cultural preservation, promotion and social development.  It is also involved in the coverage and documentation through videos and photographs of workshops, conferences and seminars of the Institute.

 

TRAINING OF CULTURAL WORKERS

The Institute operates in accordance with Nigerian Cultural Policy, the United Nations Cultural global awareness programme and UNESCO’s declaration that development should be human centred and planning made relevant to the cultural milieu in order to be resulted-oriented.  It is against this background that the Institute will commence its training programme October, 2006 at Lagos.

The training programme will equip participants in government establishments as well as in private cultural agencies with the required knowledge and skills to enable them make meaningful and professional contributions to cultural administration in Nigeria.

The courses are in the following categories:

a.                   Diploma in Cultural Studies for ND and NCE holders

b.                  Post Graduate Diploma in Cultural Studies for graduate employees

c.                   The courses are to be affiliated to the University of Ibadan through the Institute of African Studies

ORIENTATION

The Institute also carries out public enlightenment programmes in the form of lectures, conferences, seminars, workshops and special courses for a target group of the society on specific themes.

ANNUAL ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE ON CULTURAL ORIENTATION (ARTCCO)

            ARTCCO stands for Annual Round Table Conference on Cultural Orientation, an annual forum that brings together experts / professionals in different but inter-related fields, to examine topics of interest with a view to making suggestions that will give focus / direction to the Institute’s public enlightenment campaign on topical issues as well as policy implication for Government.  So far the Institute coordinated successfully 2004, 2005 and 2006 editions of ARTCCO with such themes as “Culture of Morality” 2004 (Lagos), “Culture of Honesty and Hard Work, 2005 (Lagos),  “Culture, Tolerance and Nation Building” 2006 (Jos).

INTRODUCTION

            The National Institute for Cultural Orientation, a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism came into existence as a result of the joint initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria and UNESCO under the World Decade for Cultural Development Programme (1988 – 1997).  The WDCD programme emphasized the cultural dimension of development.  The Institute was subsequently established by Decree No.93 of the 1993 with the primary responsibility of promoting positive cultural values and harnessing culture for national development as enunciated by the Nigerian Cultural Policy.

            The wisdom behind the establishment of NICO by the Federal Government and UNESCO was that the Institute will serve as a focal point to re-orientate Nigerians towards positive cultural and behavioural pattern that will enhance overall national development, peace and unity.

            In consonance with the policy, NICO has the fundamental responsibility of effecting a sense of cultural direction and relationship to meet the challenges of social integration, unity, peaceful coexistence and self-reliance.  The Institute therefore serves as the vital force for energizing the various cultural establishments in the country in the new direction advocated by Nigerian’s Cultural Policy and World Decade for Cultural Development through inter-agency, inter-sectorial and inter-disciplinary actions.  The main objectives of NICO are to:

            OBJECTIVES

            The main objectives of NICO are to:

(a)                Serve as a focus of orientation in cultural matters for the Nigeria’s policy makers and other top government officials;

 

(b)               Develop the relevant curricula aimed at integrating Nigeria’s positive cultural values into the educational system at all levels;

 

(c)                Develop cultural materials for promoting the image of Nigeria nationally and internationally and use them for the realization of the nation’s cultural diplomacy objectives.

 

(d)               Ensure that the cultural dimension is seen to be central rather than peripheral in Nigeria’s development programme.

 

(e)                Train cultural development officers who will integrate Nigeria’s cultural into the educational system at all levels to facilitate the practical application of the Nigerian culture in every day activities.

 

(f)                 Carry out public enlightenment campaigns that would effectively mobilize Nigerians towards a better life for all. 

VISION

“To be the Apex and leading Cultural Training Institute in Nigeria which will energize various Cultural establishments and contribute to world progress and civilization, through research and documentation of cultural assets and services, both tangible and intangible”.

            MISSION

-                     To train cultural development officers, motivators and communicators who would be grounded in Nigeria cultural practices, realities, philosophy and practices that are essential for National integration, peace, unity and development in a multi-ethnic nation.

-                     To constantly spear head the provision of innovational research aimed at making culture the vector for national integration and development.

MANDATES

(a)                Offers comprehensive cultural studies through her Diploma and postgraduate courses at its training programmes.

 

(b)               Carries out research and documentation of Nigerian cultural heritage.  The data bank serves as a reference material for all those who want to explore Nigerian culture in industries book/folklore publication, cuisines, music and cultural patrimony.

(c)               Offers Library and Information services.

(d)               Carries out public enlightenment programmes through lectures, conferences, seminars, workshops and special courses for target group of the society.

ACHIEVEMENT IN AREA OF INFRASTRUCTURES

During the period under review the Institute witnessed remarkable achievements in the area of infrastructures.

The Abuja Head Office and Lagos Office which were hitherto poorly and inadequately furnished, witnessed positive changes with the supply and installation of requisite office tables, chairs and other essential equipments such as stand-by sound power generating set and PABX for easy internal communication.

Also in line with government policy of promoting computer literacy among workers, the Institute purchased some computers / Laptops and distributed to Departments / Units and staff were sent on in-service training to acquire skills in computer appreciation and application.

POLICY INITIATIVES / OPERATIONAL REFORMS

The National Institute for Cultural Orientation was established to fill the yeaning gap in the culture sector.  Towards this end the Institute is aiming at professionalizing the sector through its regular training programme leading to the award of Diploma and post graduate Diploma in cultural studies.

OUTSTANDING ISSUES

1.         Personnel for the Training Schools

            The Institute currently employs the services of part-time lecturers for the training programme.  It is hoped that very soon with government approval, full time lecturers would be recruited for the programme.

2.         Student Bus

            For easy transportation from their Hostel to the Training School, the Institute is in dare need of a student bus.  This request has been made in the 2007 budget estimate.

 

3.         Constraints / Challenges

            The major challenge facing the Institute is inadequate funding in view of its onerous responsibilities.

            Suggestions / Recommendations

            In view of the importance of NICO to the cultural development of the nation, it is suggested that the Institute be adequately financed with increased budgeting allocation to enable it adequately perform her functions.

            LEGACY OF THIS ADMINISTRATION

(a)        Completion of the Lagos Office Building Complex

            The Institute’s Lagos Office building complex, 35-rooms bungalow whose construction work began in 1996 is now fully completed and has been commissioned.

            The complex has been furnished with tables, chairs and library equipments, stand-by power generating set, computers and internet connectivity to make it suitable and conducive for learning.

(b)        The Institute’s Permanent Site / Office for Cultural Workers in Kuje, Abuja

            In its bid to provide a conductive environment for teaching and learning, the Institute sought and was granted 6.3 hectares of land by the Federal Capital Territory Administration for its permanent site in Kuje Area Council.  Contracts for clearing and landscaping, fencing and gatehouse as well as classroom block has been awarded and work on the projects have since commenced.

(c)        Commencement of Regular Training Programme

            In a bid to actualize the vision of the Executive Secretary which is in consonant with the vision of the founding fathers of NICO to professionalise the sector, the management team set up the necessary machinery for the commencement of the regular training programme in October, 2006, leading to the award of Diploma and post-graduate diploma in cultural studies.

            HUMAN RESOURCE CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT

            During the period under review, the Institute has carried out several capacity building for its staff both locally and internationally.  This includes programme as seminars, workshops and lectures.

            CONCLUSION

            The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) is strategically positioned to serve as a catalyst for the rapid socio-cultural transformation of the nation, if the Institute is adequately funded to achieve its mandate.  In this regard, the Institute requires an enhanced capital / overhead budget in order to adequately cover the 36 States of the Federation and FCT with its Training and Orientation programmes which are crucial in our collectives aspiration for culture rebirth.

 

     
        JOHN BERNARD YUSUFF