As the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) rounds off the 2015 edition of its one-month intensive Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) nationwide, the Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma has advised parents not to abandon the speaking of indigenous languages with their children at home.

Ayakoroma, who made this remark, Monday, 31st August, 2015 at the formal closing of the Institute’s Headquarters’ edition in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, reiterated the importance of culture to national development, opining that language is the hub of culture, which explains why the Institute carries out the indigenous language programme simultaneously in 13 different centres across the country.

ATT 1441114436887 IMG 20150831 105526Represented by the Director of Orientation & Cultural Affairs, Mr. Alex Omijie, the ES disclosed that due to paucity of funds, which has been hampering the smooth operation of the programme, being limited to in-house resource persons, as the Institute cannot recruit from outside as had been the case.

According to him, some languages in Nigeria are undergoing what he referred to as ‘linguistics suicide’ as they are fast fading due to non use of such languages, blaming part of these problems to policy makers as there is no language policy while the National Policy on Education tends to favour the promotion of foreign languages like French and, recently, Chinese.

However, the ES congratulated all the participants for making time out of their busy schedules to attend the one month programme, which, he said, was just an introduction, promising that as soon as funds are available, the weekend programme would take off again.

The high point of the occasion was the presentation of certificates of participation to participants by some management staff coordinated by the representative of the ES.

It would be recalled that this year’s programme featured six languages, namely, Hausa, Tiv, Yoruba, Igbo, Efik and Gbagyi languages.

Philemon Udeh