The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Lagos Office, on Thursday 31st of August, 2023, closed this year’s August edition of the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) at St. Agnes Nursery and Primary School, Mende, Maryland, Lagos.
In his speech, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Mallam Ado Mohammed Yahuza, who was ably represented by the Deputy Director Lagos Liaison Office, Ms Victoria Overo, welcomed everyone to the closing ceremony, saying that Language as we all know is the bedrock of any nation, and NICO’S Nigerian Indigenous Language is one of the programs of the institute aimed at preserving, protecting, transmitting, promoting, and preventing our endangered indigenous languages from going into extinction. The (NILP) which is a core programme of the institute was conceived in 2007 in response to the disappointing statues of languages globally and Nigerians Indigenous Languages in particular.
Still speaking at the closing ceremony, he pointed out how language is the most powerful instrument for the protection, preservation and promotion of our tangible and intangible cultural heritage, noting that “Your culture and the language you speak serve as your identity which distinguishes you from other people” Therefore, languages are the most powerful instrument for preserving and developing our tangible and intangible cultural heritage he said.
The Executive Secretary went further to inform that, the Institute also runs a Training School which offers a Post Graduate Diploma and Diploma in Cultural Administration at affordable fees, and requested that they avail themselves of the opportunity to enrol.
Finally, he also thanked Mr. Babatunde Shoneye, the Education Secretary, Kosofe Local Government Education Authority Maryland and the Head Teacher (HM) of St. Agnes Nursery/ and Primary School, Mrs, Margaret Lawson for granting us the privilege to use the facilities.
The proprietress of Urhobo school, Chief Mrs.Emuobo O. Ibru represented by Elder David Emeneh in her goodwill message thanked everyone for making this August edition a success and begged all not to relent in practicing all they have learnt.
The highlight of the event was the presentation by participants to showcase mastery of the languages learnt which were Urhobor, Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages.
The Director of schools, Eko Excel schools, Mrs. Sonia Ivie, in her goodwill message, opined that language gets children to the grassroots and that language increases your performance in academics and goes further to encourage everyone to take pride in learning and practicing the languages taught saying that she will enrol her children in the next edition.
In the end, a certificate of participation was presented to all the participants while gifts were given to the best students in the various language classes.
The event came to a close with a vote of thanks by the Head of Orientation and cultural Affairs, Miss Tessy Aneto who encouraged all especially the VIO staff for their participation.