Some tourism experts have warned on the looming extinction of Nigerian languages and called for the inclusion of mother tongue in the education system to arrest the situation.
The experts, who gave the warning in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja, attributed the decline in the usage of Nigerian languages to failure of parents to speak their local dialects in homes.
Mrs Adama Ahmed, the Coordinator of Good Access, an NGO stressed the need for parents to speak their dialects to their children as failure was capable of wiping out Nigerian languages.
She said that the country would be able to achieve greater level of development if the mother tongue was inculcated in the education system.
She therefore suggested that the government should make the study of the three major languages compulsory from the primary school level to higher institutions.
“This is to ensure that the young ones understand the language from the early stage of their lives.
“As a matter of fact, it will also ensure the promotion of easy communications among the various ethnic groups in the country,’’ she said.
Mr Stephen Adeolu, the Cordinator, Global vision, lamented the rate at which the elites placed their languages as inferior to the foreign languages.
He said that most elites do not consider speaking their indigenous language in their homes let alone training their children with it.
“Indigenous languages should be made as a medium of instructions in schools as this will promote the development of languages in the country.
“It will be very good if the higher institutions can make compulsory the study of the indigenous languages as one of its general courses.
“This will give Nigerians students the opportunity of learning the culture of other people,’’ he said.
Adeolu, who described language as a versatile medium that binds people with common mother tongue together, stressed that globalisation had taken away the country’s culture.
“Advancement in technology also required inculcation of a progressive indigenous language in the society.’’
He said that this would be obtained through programmes of learning of the mother tongue at all levels of educational development.
He, however, called on parents, especially mothers to encourage the teaching of local languages for the speedy revival.