NINLAN to Launch N5bn Endowment Funds, Seeks Enabling Act Amendment to Award Degrees

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

The management of the National Institute for Nigerian Languages (NINLAN), Aba, has said that the Institute was in dire need of funding and has concluded plans to launch a N5 billion Endowment Fund to enable it achieve its development agenda.

The Executive Director of NINLAN, Prof. Obiajulu Emejulu, made this known yesterday while briefing the press on the forthcoming maiden convocation of the 29-year-old Institute. 

He said that the aim for setting up the Endowment Fund “is to ask philanthropists and stakeholders from all walks of life to appreciate the huge responsibility NINLAN bears as centre for the development of Nigeria’s five hundred-plus languages.”

According to him, discharging its core mandate has become all the more difficult for the Institute “due to the very low infrastructural development” engendered by paucity of funds.

“This realisation we hope will spur individuals and corporate bodies to generously support the Institute by donating cash, equipment, vehicles, erecting buildings, and others for the benefit of the Institute,” Emejulu said.

“In the midst of little capital vote and our non-inclusion among institutions catered for by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), we need this Endowment Fund launched to meet the Institute’s many pressing needs,” he added.

The Executive Director stated that the delay in amending the enabling law of NINLAN has continued to hinder the full realisation of the mandate of the Institute, especially in the award of degree certificates.

He said that the NINLAN Act No. 50 of 1993 provides for the Institute to offer degree programmes but the National University Commission (NUC) has refused to give the nod because the academic authority of the Institute is called Academic Board instead of Senate as obtainable in the degree awarding institutions(university system).

“I have spent 50 per cent of my energy, of my time, of my emotional resources trying to address this issue of having NINLAN award degrees as its Act provides. It breaks my heart that these unnecessary bottlenecks are still on our way,” he lamented.

He therefore appealed to the federal government to intervene and amend the NINLAN Act without further delay since it is government law and it is government that set up the language Institute.

Emejulu explained that what needed to be amended in the Act were two or three clauses to clear the hurdle for NINLAN to start awarding degree certificates, adding that he remained optimistic that “we shall succeed sooner or later”.

He stressed the need to strengthen NINLAN to live up to its mandate of developing Indigenous languages which are vehicles to drive national development, citing the Asian Tiger nations that used their Indigenous languages to attain economic and technological advancements.

Related Articles