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NCC Supports NICO’s Cultural Orientation Initiative at DBI

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By Milcah Tanimu

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved the use of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI) for the National Institute for Cultural Orientation’s (NICO) upcoming executive cultural orientation retreat. This announcement follows closely on the heels of the NCC’s endorsement of shortcodes for cultural content dissemination.

In a statement released on Sunday, NICO outlined that the retreat is designed to educate public and private sector policymakers on Nigerian culture, customs, and traditions. The authorization to utilize the DBI facility was confirmed during a recent meeting between NICO’s management and the NCC’s executive vice chairman.

NICO’s Executive Secretary and CEO, Otunba Biodun Ajiboye, emphasized that the retreat aims to align laws and policies with the cultural identities of the Nigerian people. “We expect policymakers from all sectors, including private sector executives, to participate. This retreat will provide lawmakers, local government chairmen, state commissioners, special advisers, and private sector leaders the opportunity to understand the customs, traditions, and culture of Nigeria,” Ajiboye explained.

Ajiboye also highlighted the benefits for foreign investors and diplomats, who would gain a better understanding of local cultural contexts. He pointed out that a lack of cultural awareness leads to challenges for telecommunications companies, such as resistance to erecting masts and issues with underground cables.

NICO has reached out to the national assembly, encouraging lawmakers from both chambers to join the cultural orientation exercise.

In related news, the NCC recently mandated telecommunications companies to promote Nigerian culture through their content offerings. This includes integrating cultural content into caller tunes, shortcodes, and robocalls.

The collaboration between the NCC and NICO is part of a broader effort to ensure cultural content becomes an integral part of Nigeria’s digital landscape, fostering a stronger cultural identity for future generations. NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Aminu Maida, stressed the importance of producing domestic content to preserve Nigeria’s cultural heritage. He warned that foreign content could undermine the country’s cultural values if local content production does not increase.

Maida stated, “If we don’t produce our own content that will drive home the culture we want to preserve, it is the content we are consuming from outside that will shape our culture. NICO has a much bigger part to play here. While we provide the pipe that delivers the content, those producing the content have a major stake in influencing the type of content to be shared.”

He also pointed out the need to address the lack of cultural identity in Nigerian media, noting that many Nigerian movies do not fully reflect the country’s cultural heritage in terms of language, attire, and themes.

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