Mr Joshua Isah, an educationist, has advised the Federal Government to encourage the teaching and learning of French language to enhance communication between ordinary Nigerians and nationals of neighbouring nations.
Isah, who is President, Niger State chapter of Nigeria French Teachers’ Association, made the call on Saturday in Minna, in a speech at an inter-school competition organised for French students.
“There is the urgent need for the Federal Government to give adequate attention to the teaching and learning of the French language because Nigeria is surrounded by French-speaking countries.
“There is a need for Nigerians to be able to communicate with their neighbours to enhance diplomatic ties,’’ he said.
Noting that Nigeria plays a vital role in international politics, he said that bilateral trade with Niger, Republic of Benin, Chad and Cameroon would be smoother and easier if Nigerians could communicate in French.
In her remarks, Hajia Fatima Madugu, Niger State Commissioner for Education, said that the advantages of learning a foreign language were “very massive”.
She lauded the organisers of the competition for the initiative, saying that it would encourage the students to like the language.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MYPA College, Brighter Schools, Challenge International School, Great Mark schools and St Clement Catholic School, all based in Minna, participated in the competition.
NAN also reports that Brighter Schools emerged tops in essay writing, with MYPA winning the quiz competition while St. Clement clinched the first position in Drama.