French is now Nigeria's 2nd national language

Language Critic   Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:09 am GMT
Vanguard (Lagos)
Nigeria:Rivers Govt Initiates Programmes for French, Arts Education

Olubusuyi Adenipekun

16 April 2009

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The Rivers State government has put in place programmes that will promote the study of French Language and Creative Arts in its primary and secondary schools.

While students of two secondary schools in the state are undergoing a two-week holiday training programme on French, Arts works of primary school pupils were recently exhibited in Port Harcourt as a way of encouraging them to fully develop their creative talents.

Prior to the French training programme, which is organised by the state Ministry of Education in partnership with Alliance Franciase under the Public Private arrangement, the state government had earlier donated a piece of land for the development of French Language Resource Centre.

The state Commissioner of Education, Mrs Dame Alice Nemi explained that the French training programme is intended to expose them to the study of French for the purpose of inculcating in them the rudiments of French Language in a conducive environment, equipped with adequate facilities.

Nemi disclosed that the best student in the training programme would be given an award, counselling the students to take advantage of the training to improve their knowledge of French Language.

The need for the students to take the full advantage of the programme was reiterated by the President of Alliance Franciase, Chief O.J. Akiri, stressing that since Nigeria is surrounded by French speaking, its citizens should be able to communicate in French to enable them interact with their Franchophone neighbours.

Chief Akiri, who was represented by Prof. Folorunso Ogunleke, explained that while English is classified as the language of science, French is known as the language of diplomacy, adding that Nigerians need to understand French as the world has become a global village.

He expressed satisfaction that Rivers State has more French companies than any other state in Nigeria, arguing that Rivers people must understand French language before they can property fit into any of these French companies.

On his part, the Deputy Managing Director of Total Explorations and Production Nigeria Ltd; Mr Rager Poirrier described the two-week training programme as a unique opportunity to study another language for effective communication in a fast changing world, advising the students to take the programme serious to enable them become fluent in it, given the fact that FRENCH LANGUAGE IS NOW NIGERIA'S SECOND NATIONAL LANGUAGE.
allagash hrabash   Sat Dec 26, 2009 5:18 am GMT
Is this perhaps a tiny part of a larger trend where a resurgent French language is sweeping over all of Africa and indeed the whole world?
Language Critic   Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:01 pm GMT
In section 1 sub-section 10 the policy talks about the importance of language. It says "government appreciates the importance of language as a means of promoting social interaction and national cohesion and preserving cultures. Thus every child shall learn the language of the immediate environment.
Furthermore, in the interest of national unity it is expedient that every child shall be required to learn one of the three Nigerian languages, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. FOR SMOOTH INTERACTION WITH OUR NEIGHBOURS IT IS DESIRABLE FOR EVERY NIGERIAN TO SPEAK FRENCH. ACCORDINGLY, FRENCH SHALL BE THE SECOND OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IN NIGERIA AND IT SHALL BE COMPULSORY IN SCHOOLS."
Visitor   Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:38 am GMT
<< Is this perhaps a tiny part of a larger trend where a resurgent French language is sweeping over all of Africa and indeed the whole world? >>

Well, it shows that French is not really at disadvantaged in Africa just because Rwanda switched to English and Madagascar added English as one of the official languages.

In Cameroon which is bilingual in French and English, French has the upper hand over English. Anglophone Cameroonians speak French but not the other way around.

French is required in primary schools in Ghana. In fact 13% of Ghanians speak it fluently and the country is an associate member of La Francophonie. Recently, the government of Ghana required its government officials and military personnel to be fluent in French.

In Sierra Leone, French is fast making inroads in that country along with Arabic.

French will be equal with English in the future in Liberia.

To sum up, even though English are now official in Rwanda and Madagascar, there's a possibility that just a few people would learn it fluently. On the other, French is not an official language in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone by law in those countries but has become a DE FACTO official language on the merit that it is so widely spoken there.
Visitor   Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:22 am GMT
<< French is required in primary schools in Ghana. In fact 13% of Ghanians speak it fluently and the country is an associate member of La Francophonie. Recently, the government of Ghana required its government officials and military personnel to be fluent in French. >>

The GAF is considering setting aside the first Friday of every month as a 'French Day', on which all military personnel would speak French.


Major General Peter Augustine Blay, Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), disclosed this during the closing ceremony of the Ghana Armed Forces Annual Inter-Service Shooting competition held at Yawhima in Sunyani.

He noted that as Ghana was surrounded by French-speaking countries, it would be prudent for personnel of the GAF to take the learning and speaking of French serious.

Maj. General Blay urged personnel of the GAF to take up the challenge to learn and speak French, adding "it makes a lot of sense to be able to speak the French language for our own interest, and for an enhanced international cooperation.”

According to him, the GAF fortunately, has fully-functioning French language centres in the 2 and 5 Garrisons, which all efforts would be exerted to replicate them in the remaining garrisons, to afford facilities for the learning of the French language.


Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 September 2008, 8:38 GMT Previous Page

Vice president Aliu Mahama

The government has directed all government officials to compulsorily take French lessons.

Vice-President Aliu Mahama said the directive was part of the government's plans to make French a common language for as many Ghanaians as possible to enhance economic, commercial and social activities between Ghana and its neighbours.

Consequently, he asked those who were privileged to be studying the French language in schools to take the subject seriously because of the numerous advantages associated with knowing, understanding and speaking it.

Alhaji Mahama said this when the French Minister for Overseas Development and Francophone Affairs, Madam Geraldine Brigitte, paid a courtesy call on him at his office at the Castle on Monday.

The French minister was in the country to extend an invitation to the Presidency to attend the 12th summit of the International Organisation of the Francophone in Quebec, Canada, later in the year.

He recounted a number of experiences with many government officials who attend high-level meetings in Francophone countries and were unable to communicate because of their inability to speak French.

"Our French counterparts even do well to speak the English with us but those of us from the English speaking countries seldom speak any French at all and that is not the best," Alhaji Mahama said.

The Vice-President had early on exchanged some greetings in French with his guest but was unable to continue when the conversations went deep.

According to him, the President had directed all government officials to take compulsory French lessons, adding that "this is what has helped me and we are trying to ensure that the teaching of the French language becomes a major subject at all levels of the academic calendar".

He encouraged business people who traded with their counterparts in the neighbouring countries to endeavour to learn the language to enable them to transact business without stress.

Alhaji Mahama said there was a lot to benefit should Ghanaians begin to engage their neighbours in serious trading and economic activities.

He assured the French minister of the government's commitment to make the teaching and learning of French much more widespread for many more people to benefit.

Madam Brigitte for her part commended Ghana for the efforts she was putting in place to get more people to learn the French language.

In spite of this, she said, Ghana needed to attach greater interest to making the teaching and learning of French more widespread for many more people to benefit.

Madam Brigitte said France was committed to making more resources available to Ghana to enable it to create the necessary environment for people to learn the Language.

She expressed the hope that the government would be able to attend the summit to further strengthen the relationship between Ghana and the Francophone countries.

Source: Daily Graphic
Qwaggmireland   Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:02 am GMT
Lol, don't know how long it took to the invasives to establish their lingo over natives, but French has always been Nigeria's second those parts of Nigeria occupied by Cameroun that is...
Hapworth 16, 1924   Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:03 pm GMT
Raise high the roof beam and the topic, carpenters!