The significance of NICO one-month Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme has again been reiterated at the closing ceremony of the just concluded programme in the North Central Zonal Office of the Institute in Ilorin, Kwara State on 28th August, 2017.

This came when one of the participants from National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Mr. Saliu Abdul Afiz Olanrewaju, expressed his satisfaction with this year’s edition, saying the programme is a laudable one, as it serves as a unifying force in engendering understanding, patriotism and mutual trust among Nigerians.

Mr. Olanrewaju observed that learning an additional language makes one a friend rather than a foe to the speakers of that language, and therefore urged the Institute and its zonal office in Ilorin to increase the tempo by featuring more languages in subsequent editions, such as Igbo, Igala, etc., just as they remain unwavering in ensuring peaceful coexistence among the various ethnic groups in the country, through series of cultural initiatives, like the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme, especially now that the country is facing threats of division.

Earlier on, in his opening address, the Zonal Coordinator, NICO North-Central Zone Ilorin, Kwara State, Mr. Ohi Ojo, said the significance of language in human endeavour can never be overemphasised, since it was a dominant segment of culture which distinguishes a group of people from another, and so learning an additional language is very important to both adults and children in order to make one more marketable and competitive.

He reiterated that as one of the Institute’s major objectives, Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) was designed to prepare participants to be able to key into the noble venture of being competitive worldwide, as research has shown that, children especially can easily learn to speak, read and write up to five different languages fluently when exposed to them early in life, thereby naturally giving them an edge over others.

Also in his remarks, the Head of Orientation and Cultural Affairs Unit, Mr. Adeoti Ariyo, admonished the participants to put into practice all that they have learnt and thanked them for their patience, resilience as well as being good ambassadors of the various establishments they represented throughout the programme.

This year’s edition of the one-month Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) in the zone, which took place at the Zonal Office Conference Hall in Ilorin, featured Hausa and Yoruba languages and recorded a total number of thirty four (34) participants, which included candidates from NESREA, Kwara State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Kwara State Polytechnic, and the private sector.

Ahmed Mohammed

NIO North-Central Zone

Ilorin, Kwara State