LANGUAGES OF NIGERIA: IGBO
What is the Igbo language?
Igbo is a Niger-Congo language spoken primarily in Nigeria. Igbo speakers (otherwise known as the Ndigbo) live mostly in south eastern Nigeria in an area known as Igboland. They are one of Nigeria’s major and most enterprising ethnic groups accounting for about 18% (27 million) of Nigeria’s estimated 150 million population.
Igbo is a national language of Nigeria and is also recognised in Equatorial Guinea. However, it is only in the south western and Delta regions of Nigeria where Igbo has official language status used for government notices. In the states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo, Igbo is the main language of trade, commerce and mass media communication (radio and television).
Yet local languages are still not adequately recognised or utilised and are almost neglected. But language does not exist in a vacuum. Thus, being worried that the Igbo language is becoming endangered in schools, market places, public places and in homes, Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi recently established schools for the teaching of Igbo language and inculcation of Igbo core values.
The Future and Opportunities
As the world gradually converges in cyberspace, opportunities that were previously unimaginable have thus become available in both business and other aspects of human endeavours. And the Ndigbo are known for their entrepreneurial activities, especially in the informal sector. It is therefore worth noting the competitiveness of Ndigbo’s prevalent business practices in an increasingly networked and globalised world.
The Igbo language opens possibilities for creating new partnerships, exploring new frontiers in trade and finance and the exchange of culture and ideas.
In fact, it will give you the key to the heart of the Ndigbo people.