The Executive Secretary National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has said that the Nigerian Indigenous Language Training Programme (NILP) has great potentials of encouraging tolerance, dialogue and mutual respect among the diverse ethnic nationalities in the country which will help in creating a conducive environment for good governance and peaceful co-existence in Nigeria, and it has contributed tremendously towards achieving Mr. President’s transformation agenda.
Dr. Ayakoroma who stated this at the closing ceremony of the one-month Intensive Language Programme, held at the Merit House, Aguiyi Ironsi Road, Maitama-Abuja, on Friday, 2nd September, 2011, noted that language is an inseparable tool in man’s quest for identification in any society and taking into consideration the heterogeneous nature of our nation, the importance of teaching Nigerian Indigenous Languages to the citizenry cannot be over-emphasized.
He observed that learning our languages and other indigenous languages, other than our mother tongue, will go a long way in fostering unity among Nigerians, and that this necessitated the Institute’s resolve to expand and re-modify the programme which initially was meant for primary and post primary students, to its present status, to benefit workers in the public and private sector as well as the general public.
The ES expressed delight that this year’s NILP was held simultaneously in all the six zonal offices, Lagos Liaison office and Abuja Head office, and recorded significant success as nine different indigenous languages were adequately taught, with a total number of 241 participants attending the training programme in Abuja alone.
With this success story, the ES informed guests at the ceremony that the Institute has concluded plans to organize weekend classes for interested workers and also create a webpage on NICO’s website for interested participants and those in Diaspora, who may not have the time to physically attend the training programme.
The programme had in attendance the Honourable Minister of Culture and Tourism, High Chief Edem Duke, represented by Mr. Chudi Uwandu, Director, Planning, Research and Documentation in the Ministry, the Royal Father of the Day, HRH Chief Emmanuel Kyauta Yepwi who is the Sakaruyi of Karu, the Chairman of NICO Governing Board, Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim Ganyama, represented by Mr. Sony Ehioghae of Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Osita Chijioka, represented by Commodore O.I. Evrujakpor, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral OS Ibrahim, represented by Commander IA Ahmed, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika, represented by Lt Col AU Bwala, among other dignitaries.
Jonathan N. Nicodemus