International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online)

Reviving the Use of Indigenous Languages in the Contemporary Nigerian Society: The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) Initiative
Barclays Foubiri AYAKOROMA, PhD

Abstract
The need to revive indigenous languages in any society is germane. The place of a native language in a society, like Nigeria, where there are multi-ethnic nationalities with many languages, cannot be overemphasised. The fact remains that Nigerian indigenous languages can be veritable media to engender unity, cultural identity, and national pride in the people. They can also impact positive values in the children and youths, in addition to facilitating and sustaining national development. Thus, non-revival of indigenous languages in the Nigerian context means their gradual extinction. There have been attempts by successive governments to make the teaching and learning of indigenous languages compulsory in the Nigerian educational system. But, sadly, government has been paying lip-service to such policies, just as parents are not encouraging their wards to speak their mother tongue at home, to the effect that there have been no visible impacts. This paper examines the poor state of Nigerian indigenous languages and documents the initiative of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) to ameliorate the situation through the Nigerian Indigenous Language Programme (NILP) platform. The submission is that, if there is political will, on the part of government, to give vent to the implementation of the Language Policy, the situation will be ameliorated.

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