The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy has advocated for the use of Nigerian indigenous languages in carrying out legislative business and in Nigeria’s education system at all levels as well as in the media for the preservation of the languages.
The Executive Secretary/ CEO Mallam Ado Muhammad Yahuza in his address, at the closing ceremony of NICO’s one month August edition of Nigerian Indigenous Languages Programme (NILP) held at the NICO’s Headquarters, Abuja on Thursday, 31 August, 2023 said that with the rising rate at which Nigerian languages are steadily endangered and the fear that “by the next century, more than half of the world’s estimated 6,900 languages will go into extinction, there is every need as a matter of deliberate policy, for government at all levels to encourage the use of our indigenous languages in legislative business, education and the media”.
Mallam Yahuza was represented by the Director, Orientation and Cultural Affairs Department, NICO, Mr. Segun Adegbanju informed that the conceptualization of the programme in 2007 as an annual programme is designed to create awareness on the need to speak our indigenous languages, create a sense of pride in our languages thereby engendering national pride and identity, as well as encourage the need to preserve the indigenous languages and promote Nigeria’s cultural diplomacy objectives.
Furthermore, from inception NILP has held in Lagos and Abuja and the six zonal and state offices of NICO across the country and would continue to preserve our languages from going into extinction and also promote our rich cultural heritage.
Highlight of the event were the presentations by the participants on Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Gbagyi Languages as well as the presentation of certificate of participation to sixteen (16) participants.
Present at the closing ceremony of the 2023 NICO Indigenous Languages Programme were Deputy Director, Admin and Human Resource Management, Mrs. Chinasa Eze; Chief Cultural Officer, Hajiya Muze Ajimobi; Chief Cultural Officer, Miss Gloria Ephraim.
NICO Headquarters. Abuja.