The Head, Lagos Liaison Office, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Mrs. Bridget Lar Yerima, has observed that if Nigerians are not careful the way we handle our indigenous languages, many of the languages will go into extinction.
Mrs. Yerima, who stated this in the Programme, Panorama, on Network Service of NTA, said it was in order to avoid such a situation that NICO started the Nigerian Indigenous Language programme (NILP).
She said: “Many of our languages are no more spoken by our children. They speak more of English. In fact, most parents speak only English to their children. NICO initiated NILP to let Nigerians learn and speak Nigerian indigenous languages. You know that we have about 500 languages in Nigeria. In our programme, we offer Efik, Fulfide, Hausa, Igbo, Izon, Nupe, Tiv and Yoruba. It is a one-month intensive programme and will start from 2nd August to 31st August, 2012, and we call on Nigerians to come and be part of it. The opening ceremonies will take place across the six geopolitical zones of NICO. Those who want to communicate in more than one Nigerian language, cultural workers, performing artistes, public relations officers, marketers, and foreigners, who are interested in learning Nigerian languages, should pick the form and be part of it. The fee is N10,000.”
She also stated that the apex Cultural Institute in Nigeria has been committed in its mandate to harness Nigerian culture by impacting the Nigerian cultural values on the children, adding that with the Cultural Clubs in Schools, NICO targets the children, because the moment they imbibe our cultural values, they will be well-behaved as they grow up.
Mrs. Yerima further said that in pursuance of sustenance of peace and security in Nigeria, NICO recently orgainzed a 2-day National Conference with the theme, “Culture, Peace and National Security: The Role of our Tradtional Rulers and Local Government Chairmen,” and that the conference was to reawawken and re-orientate traditional rulers on their role in sustaining peace in their domains.