The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) successfully concluded its 5th edition of Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) on Friday, September 30, 2011, at the Institute’s Training School complex, Iganmu, Lagos.

In his Welcome Address at the 0ccasion, the Executive Secretary, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma, who was represented by the Director, Training School, Mr. Itapah Azuobu, said that the essence of the programme was to encourage Nigerians to speak and understand their mother tongue as well as other languages so as to promote peaceful coexistence and National Integration, and commended the participants for their commitment towards the revival of our dying indigenous languages.

Drama and dance presentations by the students in the different indigenous languages were remarkable demonstrations of the effect of the weekend programme, and the students also used the opportunity to express their gratitude to NICO, sponsors and resource persons and stated that the knowledge they acquired is one they will apply in their day to day activities.

Said Babatunde Ayo Vaughan, one of the students, “I am a Yoruba man but I came here to learn Igbo language so that I can relate well with the Igbo people and now that I can speak it,  I feel a sense of belonging with them and I also want to thank NICO and the Government for this programme that is designed to unite Nigeria.”

Present to congratulate his staff members and other participants was Mr. Edwin Odion, Head, South West zone of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), who also commended NICO for organizing the programme and expressed optimism that learning Yoruba language will enable the non-Yoruba staff of NFVCB in previewing and censorship of Yoruba movies.

“I am impressed with my students’ performance and I will be glad to go through this experience anytime I am called upon,” were the words of the Igbo Resource person, Mrs. Chibuzor Nwanedo, also commending NICO for using this indigenous language programme to foster peace, unity, love and sense of belonging.

It will be recalled that the Lagos Office of NICO started the Weekend Language Programme, where lectures take place on Saturdays and Sundays, to give opportunity to the working class.

Uju Ukwu
NICO Training School