The Executive Secretary/CEO, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, who is also a Visiting Associate Professor at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), has been commended for sustaining the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) of the Institute.
This commendation was made by the South-West Zonal Head of NICO, Mr. James Imohiosen, on Wednesday, 30th August, 2017 at the closing ceremony of the 2017 edition of the indigenous language programme, held at the Institute’s South-West Zonal office complex, Federal Mortgage Bank Building, Alagbaka, Akure, Ondo State.
Speaking at the occasion, Imohiosen reiterated that the NICO organised indigenous language programme was not a jamboree but rather one of the gains of the World Decade for Cultural Development (1988-1997), where participating nations now see the importance of culture in development, of which language plays a significant role as the vehicle that drives culture.
According to him, it is in line with the aforementioned that NICO was established and has the responsibility of harnessing our cultural resources to address the challenges of some aspects of our cultures, of which the revival of our dying indigenous languages remain paramount.
While emphasising the importance of language, as a veritable tool for promoting unity, peace and understanding in a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria, the SW Zonal Coordinator called on the private sector and all civil servants that participated in the one-month long programme to avail themselves of the upcoming weekend edition, so as to have mastery of what they have been taught.
His words: “Continuity is key in understanding a language, as a little understanding of a particular language may save one from imminent dangers, such as, kidnapping and ritual killing; and it could also promote friendliness and acceptance into a group, if one can speak their language”.
Mr. Imohiosen also expressed profound appreciation to the NICO ES for facilitating the approval for affiliation of the Institute’s Training School programme to the Nasarawa State University, Keffi (NSUK), for the award of nationally and internationally recognised Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Administration.
In a goodwill message, Mr. Moses Jegede, a staff of the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS), who participated in the one-month long indigenous language programme, expressed appreciation to the Institute for the opportunity to learn another language, especially the genuine efforts of the facilitators in imparting knowledge.
To him, his experience within the past one month was beyond comprehension and having gone through the programme, which automatically makes him an ambassador of NICO, he cannot but take the message to his office to let people know and appreciate NICO’s efforts towards saving our indigenous languages from going into extinction.
Also, Mr. Olagidi Francis of the National Parents-Teachers Association (NAPTAN), Ondo State chapter, could not hide his feelings but appreciate the cooperation and love showed to each and every participant by the NICO Zonal Head and members of staff in the zone, saying, “learning this language for the past one month is an antidote to blood pressure because language is a unifying factor in any nation”.
He therefore implored Nigerians, especially the younger generation to find pleasure in learning languages other than their own, saying it would help them in their future endeavours, most especially during their compulsory one year National Youth Service Corps programme after graduating from the University.
On her part, Mrs. Foluke Toyin Olusa, a participant from the Ondo State Scholarship Board, also appreciated the Institute for the wonderful knowledge imparted in her and promised to be part of the programme next year; just as the duo of Mr. Babalola Abayomi and Mr. Salihu Ibrahim of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and Mrs. Florence Alukuluka of Nigerian Prison Service (NPS), also indicated interest to participate in the next edition of the programme.
This year, a total of 45 persons participated in the indigenous language programme in the South-West Zonal office of the Institute, where four languages were taught, namely, Hausa, Igbo, Izon and Yoruba.
It is interesting to note that the resource persons for the language programme were all members of staff, namely, Mr. Mohammed Babangida (Hausa), Mr. Chuks Eustace Nwokorie (Igbo), Mr. Kenneth Ayunku (Izon), and Mr. Peter Fayomi (Yoruba).