From left: Executive Commissioner Technical Services, Nigerian Communications Commission NCC, Engr. Abraham Oshadami,; Executive Secretary/CEO of NICO, Otunba Biodun Ajiboye,; Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO, NCC, Dr. Aminu Maida; Director of Research and Documentation, NICO, Mr. Michael Ekoko; and Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Reuben Muoka, when Ajiboye led the Institute’s management team on a courtesy visit to the NCC headquarters, in Abuja, recently.

The Nigerian Communications Commission NCC is poised to promote Nigerian cultural contents through the telecommunications industry. The commission has therefore assured that it is willing to support a cultural reorientation for Nigerians by mandating telecommunications companies to ensure that subscribers are given access to contents that will preserve and positively impact Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

Speaking in Abuja recently when he played host to the Executive Secretary/CEO of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation NICO, Otunba Biodun Ajiboye, who led a team from the agency on a visit to the NCC, the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the commission, Dr. Aminu Maida, assured that the NCC would do all it could towards achieving a cultural re-orientation using the telecommunications industry.

The purpose of the visit is to seek and discuss potential ways of collaboration between the two agencies towards achieving a cultural reorientation for the country.

Dr. Maida noted that it has become very import and expedient for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government to collaborate among themselves and with other stakeholders in line with measures to re-orientate the citizens towards the country’s rich cultural values and heritage, arguing that it would portend a grave risk to allow foreign contents to shape Nigeria’s culture, a development that could occur only when domestic content output remains low.

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

“Today, if you watch Nigerian movies, the accent they speak with as well as their dress does not totally reflect Nigeria; even the topics are not rooted in our culture”, the NCC-boss said.

On the NICO management’s proposal for telecommunication operators in Nigeria to include cultural content on caller tunes, short codes and robot calls for cultural information, Maida assured on the commission’s support for the proposal and readiness to act on it as appropriate in order to increase local content in telecoms services in the country.

Meanwhile, the NICO CEO in his earlier remarks, noted that there was increasing need to leverage digital infrastructure to enhance Nigeria’s arts, culture, and creative industries.

He also disclosed that the Institute is planning to launch a Global Cultural Digital Platform called “DuduPlugs” to promote Nigeria’s diverse cultural heritage and keep Nigerian culture vibrant in the face of deepening foray of Western cultural values into the country’s cultural space.

He said: “Our Global Cultural Digital Platform is an attempt to bridge the gap between culture and information technology.

“This has the capacity to showcase our e-commerce, language, and other elements that can ride on the back of our communication platforms, reaching the world robustly and exuding the pride of our culture”, the NICO boss added.