The weekend edition of the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) has kicked off at the Head Office of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), located at No. 23, Kigoma Street, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The programme, which started on Saturday, 23rd November, 2013, is designed as a platform to encourage cultural workers, performing artists, public relation officers, foreigners and the general public on the need to speak Nigerian indigenous languages thereby saving them from extinction.

The Head of Cultural Affairs Unit in the Institute, Mrs. Regina Onuoha, who spoke on behalf of the Acting Director, Department of Orientation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Alex Omijie, disclosed that the weekend programme, which is scheduled to hold every Saturday from 10am-2pm and on Sundays between 2pm and 5pm, runs simultaneously in all the zonal and state offices of the Institute across the country.

Stressing on the importance of the indigenous language programme, Onuoha said the weekend programme was an extension of the Institute’s one-month Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), maintaining that its importance cannot be over-emphasized, since the programme has achieved much in terms of re-orienting the public on the need to speak the local languages, which are being threatened by extinction.

While reiterating that the objective of the programme was in line with the Institute’s mandate of harnessing culture for national development, she further encouraged the general public to avail themselves the opportunity of attending the programme, which is free; and that the languages taught in the Abuja Study Centre are, Efik, Fulfulde, Gbagyi, Hausa, Igbo, Izon, Nupe, Tiv and Yoruba.

Sandra Kingsley-Omogiade
Orientation & Cultural Affairs
NICO, Abuja