Participants of the one-month annual Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), organised by National Institute for CulturaPartil Orientation (NICO), have lauded the Institute, saying the programme had contributing immensely to the appreciation of the use of Nigerian indigenous languages in homes.

The commendations were made at the closing ceremony of the 2014 edition of the programme, organized by NICO South-South Zone, which took place, Friday, 5th September, at the zonal office complex located at No. 51, Imgbi Road, Amarata-Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The participants, who expressed their joy and appreciation for the opportunity the programme had availed them in learning new languages other than their own, testified that they were now proud speakers of those languages they enrolled for because of the efforts of the professional teachers handling the languages.

They commended NICO, under the leadership of Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, for his commitment to promoting Nigerian indigenous languages and also prayed the Institute to continue with the Weekend Indigenous Language Programme in the zone immediately to enable them continue the learning, which will lead them to master the languages they had enrolled for.

Earlier, addressing participants at the occasion, NICO South-South Zonal Coordinator, Mr. James Imohiosen, remarked that the programme, which is an educative academic exercise, was aimed at reviving and promoting Nigerian indigenous languages for national integration, adding that it will address participants’ individual challenges experienced as non-speakers of the enrolled languages before the exercise.

He explained that NICO had re-packaged the language programmes to be a continuous exercise by introducing the Weekend Indigenous Language Programme since 2013, which is in pursuance of the Institute’s objective of using Nigerian indigenous languages to promote national unity and fight insecurity and terrorism in the country, urging participants to take advantage of the weekend programme.

Participants in the programme were mostly from Ministries and Federal Establishments in the State, including the State Security Services, FERMA, the Judiciary, led by Justice Doris Adokeme of the Bayelsa State Judiciary.

The resource persons of the programme were professionals, including Mr. Enieketin Eneware Head of Department Nigerian Languages, Isaac Jasper Boro College of Education, Sagbama, Bayelsa State and a Part-Time lecturer of the Izon Programme Niger Delta University, Amassoma.

It will be recalled that the NICO South-South Zonal office offered five languages in this year’s programme, namely, Izon, Efik, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; the best students in each of these languages received merit prize of excellence, just as participants thrilled the audience as they sang the National Anthem in the indigenous languages.

Clifford Ugwu

Corporate Affairs

NICO South-South Zone