THE National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), has harped on culture as a roadmap to sustainable development of Nigeria.
Ado Mohammed Yahuza, Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) NICO stated this in Benin on Thursday, at the opening ceremony of a two-day conference on Culture, Zonal Intervention Projects and National Development, organised by the institute.
Yuhaza noted that the neglect and non recognition of culture as a roadmap to sustainable development has put many Nations in dire straits.
He therefore said that a deeper understanding of the place of culture to National development was imperative in Nigeria’s quest for meaningful progress and sustainable socio-political and economic development.
He said that it was in view of this, that the Zonal Intervention Fund, which was a product of the Executive-Legislative interface should be appreciated and commended.
The Executive Secretary said that this was because it has the potential to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians for grassroot development in consonance with their peculiar cultural environment.
He explained that the Zonal Intervention Projects (ZIP) was a well thought out development strategy designed to foster equitable distribution of development projects Nationwide in the constituencies of law makers by various ministries, department and agencies of government.
He further said that through the zonal intervention fund, many MDAs have been able to execute several projects and programmes in furtherance of their statutory objectives which would have been impossible due to funding.
Yahuza explained that the conference was designed to sensitize Nigerians on the need to appreciate the critical importance of culture to National development.
“Our institute for instance has made significant impact in promoting culture consciousness and creativity in our secondary school students nationwide”, he said.
In his remarks, Mr Friday Itula, Chairman of the occasion and former two terms member of the House of Representatives said that culture plays significant role in national development.
Itula urge the management of the institute to leverage on what was on ground to move the country’s cultural heritage to greater heights.
He also suggested that indigenous languages be made part of the language of communication in the Nation’s curriculum of learning up to secondary education to avoid the mother tongue going into extinction.
He further suggested that adequate budgetary allocation should be geared towards funding ZIP.
Similarly, Mr Patrick Ikhariale, the special guest of honour reiterated that culture was a viable and veritable tool for sustainable development.
Ikhariale noted that culture was the way of life of a people.