As part of efforts to continuously emphasize the need to preserve Nigerian indigenous languages and save them from going into extinction, the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, has concluded plans to organize the 2018 weekend edition of the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP).

This year’s weekend edition of the language programme which participation is free is scheduled to hold from 3-5pm on Fridays and 10am-2pm on Saturdays, starting from October, 19 to December, 15, 2018 in the Institute’s twelve (12) training centres across the country including the Head Office, located at No. 23, Kigoma Street, Wuse Zone 7, Abuja-FCT and Lagos office at the National Theatre Annex, Iganmu, Lagos State.

Other locations are Akure (South-West Zonal Office); Bayelsa (South-South Zonal Office); Owerri (South-East Zonal Office); Katsina (North-West Zonal Office); Ilorin (North-Central Zonal Office); and Yola (North-East Zonal Office). The training will also be conducted at the Institute’s State Offices in Gombe, Enugu, Oyo and Niger States.

The NILP which is designed as a platform to give Nigerians and foreign nationals the opportunity to learn and speak Nigerian indigenous languages to promote national unity and integration will feature the following languages; Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Tiv, Efik and Gbagyi. It is also expected that at the end of the training, an examination exercise will be conducted to test participant’s level of understanding.

In August, 2018, the Institute trained a total of One Hundred and Eight (108) participants in the one-month long vacation edition of the language programme where participants appreciated the opportunity given to them by NICO to learn languages of their choice outside their mother tongue.

While it is worthy of mention that over the years, both the one-month intensive long vacation and weekend editions of NILP have made great impact with remarkable increase in the number of participants ranging from children, students, members of paramilitary institutions, civil servants among others, the Institute is hopeful that with enhanced funding by government, the number of indigenous languages being taught will increase significantly.

Caleb Nor

Media Assistant to Ag. ES, NICO