The one-month intensive Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) organized by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Minna State Office, has come to a deserving end, Thursday, 11th September, 2014, at Umaru Audi Primary School, Tunga, Minna, Niger State.
In her opening remark, the Head, NICO Minna State Office, Mrs. Olufunke Ndukwe, saluted the zeal shown by the participants during the programme, urging them to continue to speak the languages they had learnt even with their children at home.
She equally used the opportunity to intimate them of other programmes and activities of NICO, including the Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Administration programmes of NICO Training School, NICO Cultural Clubs in Schools, Nigerian Dress Culture, Repositioning Workshops for Culture Workers, and National Conference on Culture, Peace and National Security for Traditional Rulers and Local Government Chairmen.
Commending the programme, one of the participants, Mrs. Ladidi Yunusa, a Nupe student, noted that the initiative on the indigenous language programme by the Institute was a bold step in the right direction, saying it was timely in addressing the mirage of problems in the society, adding that the programme had changed her mentality and enabled her to make lots of friends.
Mr. Emmanuel Sambo, who was the best student in Yoruba class, wished that the programme had been a continuous exercise, saying it would go a long way in fostering the unity in the country.
On his part, Elder Michael Kolo, a retired lecturer from Federal University of Technology, Minna, commended the Institute for coming up with this programme, saying there were four types of idols: market place, theatre, den and tribe; and that the programme addressed the language barrier in market places.
Giving kudos to NICO Minna for a work well done, he further said that adequate knowledge of indigenous languages would enhance the aesthetics of arts, stressing that, arts appreciation and interpretation could only be achieved with good knowledge of the culture and that language was the vehicle for this.
Mr. Jacob Shaba Gana, Head of Administration of National Orientation Agency (NOA), said God had given Nigeria different cultures and that there was need for people to appreciate and use the indigenous languages to their advantage.
He admonished Nigerians to use the diversity in culture for the unity and strength of the nation, also urging people to promote their cultures everywhere they go.
In his closing remarks, Mallam Galadima Sidi congratulated the students and urged them to build on the knowledge had acquired, and soliciting for more collaboration among the MDAs in Niger State so as to achieve the essence of our existence.
The Year 2014 edition of NILP was well attended with over one hundred and fifty (150) participants drawn from families, traders, and civil servants from Federal and State establishments in Niger State.
The turnout was enhanced by the tuition-free approach introduced by the Executive Secretary of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, and the doggedness of the staffers, who ensured the smooth running of the programme.
The ceremony featured side attractions: presentations by each language class, namely, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba and Nupe, folk songs and goodwill messages.
There was also award of prizes to the best students in each class, which was followed by presentation of certificate.
Oyewole Akanle & Grace Imomion
Corporate Affairs Unit
NICO Minna State Office