Ahead of the upcoming last edition of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) Quarterly Public Lecture Series for 2019, the institute has reaffirmed its resolve and commitment to continue to educate Nigerians in line with its mandate.
The lecture series was conceived by NICO as a platform for stakeholders to deliberate on how to use culture as one of the building blocks for economic and national development.
Meanwhile, NICO’s last lecture for this year would hold on December 3, with theme: “Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria –The Culture Dimension’’.
Mr Caleb Nor, Media Assistant to Acting Executive Secretary of NICO, Mr Louis Eriomala, said the institute quarterly lecture is essentially geared toward good governance in Nigeria
The lecture, according to him, aims at sensitising Nigerians to understand the strategic importance of culture in promoting good governance.
“The lecture will serve as a platform for intellectual discourse on culture, sensitise Nigerians to the strategic importance of culture in the promotion and sustenance of good governance and our nascent democracy.
“The lecture will also address the imminent need for Nigerians to embrace our culture, cherish its inherent values and accord it a pride of place in all aspects of our development agenda,’’ he said.
Eriomala said the event was in furtherance with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture’s mandate of effecting a sense of cultural direction and relationship in meeting the challenges of social integration in Nigeria.
Lending credence to this, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,
said: “It is also pertinent to note that culture is the totality of the people’s way of life and there is an urgent need for us to preserve, promote and present our unique cultural heritage for the socio-economic growth and development of our country”.
Some experts say culture also serves as a veritable too for enhancing foreign relations. In his paper presentation in one of NICO’s recent lecture series, a senior research fellow and head division of African politics and integration at the International Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Dr. Sharkdam Wapmuk, said culture could indeed serve as an effective tool for enhancing Nigerian foreign relations.
Dr. Wapmuk noted that the nexus between culture and international relations has emerged as an area of interest to both scholars and practitioners in the field International Relations.
“International Relations concerns itself with relationships among nation states, with each state implementing its foreign policy. Each state in the international system has its cultural system, which is made up of ideas, behavior, literature and arts, food, traditions, social, political, intellectual orientations and how it organises itself”, he further explained.
Culture, according to him, has become a key product in the international tourism market and an important instrument for enhancing relations of states as well.
He added that cultural tourism has served and still has huge potential to enhance Nigeria’s foreign relations. He also underscored the significant roles of Nigerian films, food culture, music, dance and literature as instruments for cultural diplomacy