The Head of National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) Enugu State Office, Mr. Nnaemeka Nwajagu, has called on the relevant authorities to revisit the nation’s educational policy, so as to integrate Nigerian Indigenous Languages as media of instruction in schools, adding that such gesture would enhance better learning outcomes.

Speaking on behalf of the Executive Secretary of NICO, Assoc. Prof. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, at the opening ceremony of the 5th edition of the 4-week long vacation Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP), at the Board Room of NICO Enugu State Office, located at Old CCB Building, No. 60 Okpara Avenue, Enugu, on Tuesday, 1st of August, 2017, Mr. Nwajagu cited the example of China that has a high growth rate and technological advancement.

He noted that communication in the indigenous languages in a multi-lingual society breeds peaceful co-existence and harmony; and seized the opportunity to intimate participants and invited guests that the four weeks Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) and the sixteen weeks Weekend Indigenous Language Programme (WILP), which hold annually in August and September to December, respectively, are cardinal programmes of the Institute in pursuit of its mandate to harness culture for national development.

On his part, the Director of Administration, Enugu State Ministry of Education, Mr. Mike Ugwu, who represented the State Honourable Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Ezeh, while thanking NICO for the leading role in cultural re-awakening, expressed his disappointment at the lukewarm attitude of Nigerians towards their indigenous languages, especially those of Igbo extraction, citing the continued practice of monarchy in England as an expression of culture and development.

In a vote of thanks, HOD Orientation and Cultural Affairs, NICO Enugu, Mr. Austin Okezie, thanked the guests for finding time to attend the programme, despite their tight schedules, and admonished participants to eschew truancy, indolence and lateness to class, pointing out that participants stand to gain a lot from the programme, which is free of charge.

The ceremony, which had in attendance, the Enugu State Sector Commandant and Deputy Commandant, Nigeria Peace Corps, Messrs. Ejike Eze and Raphael Onah, featured traditional breaking of the kola nut, sign-posting long life, fertility, love and peace.

As at the time of this report, sixty eight (68) participants had formally registered for Igbo, Hausa, Izon and Tiv classes.

Frank Ariwera Otobo

NICO Enugu State Office