The Honourable Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayattu Ahmed Rufai, has called for the development of software on Nigerian indigenous languages, saying that the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government had always been ready to give priority attention to indigenous languages.
Making this call in an address at the opening ceremony of the National Conference on Nigerian Languages organized by the University of Nigeria, Institute for Nigerian Languages, Aba Campus, with the theme, “Nigerian Languages, Education and Development,” Professor Rufai said the need for software was to meet the demands of contemporary times in the educational circle, and measure up to international standard.
The Minister, who was represented by former Vice-Chancellor, University of Mka, Benue State, Professor Nancy Agbe, said: “Language is very important to the development of any nation. It is good for us to develop software for our indigenous languages. We have many languages. We have to use them to our advantage…. China and many other countries have done this, because when you go to China for further education, you learn everything about China before you start your studies. Indians also promote their language too. I strongly believe we can do so in Nigeria.”
In her remarks, the Director of the Institute, Professor Clara Ikekeonwu, commended the minister for her keen interest in the development of education in Nigeria in all ramifications, adding: “I also thank her for her interest in the promotion of Nigerian languages in her commitment to the effective management and development of Nigeria.”
The event, which took place on Wednesday, the 24th of April, 2013, at Professor Nebo Conference Hall of the Institute, attracted personalities, which include the Honourable Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayattu Ahmed Rufai, represented by former Vice-Chancellor, University of Mka, Benue State, Professor Nancy Agbe, Director of the Institute, Professor Clara Ikekeonwu, the Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, the keynote speaker, Professor Cecilia Eme, who is Head, Department of Linguistics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, as well as the lead paper presenters: Head, Department of Linguistics/Igbo and other Languages, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Dr. Chris Agbedo, and Dr. Peter Matemilola of the Department of Nigerian Languages, Federal College of Education, Zaria, among others
Nwagbo Pat Obi