The Bible Society of Nigeria has called for support for the preservation of Nigerian languages.
It also called on the government, corporate bodies and individuals to support the organisation’s efforts in interpreting the Bible into local languages and preventing them from going into extinction.
The General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, Bible Society of Nigeria, Dr Dare Ajiboye, who spoke while announcing the completion of the translation of the Igala Bible and the Okun New Testament at the Bible Guest House, Ilupeju, Lagos, appealed to the government to enforce the usage of Nigerian languages in schools.
He said both languages were spoken in Kogi State.
He said, “It is unfortunate that we have not been receiving any financial assistance from both the federal and state governments despite our effort to contribute immensely to the preservation of the country’s languages except for a meager amount from few individuals.”
Ajiboye emphasised that language is an identity and integral part of the culture of any country including Nigeria.
He said the organisation should be commended for having translated the entire Bible into 26 languages and the New Testament into more than 60 languages while some books of the Bible had been translated to more than 100 languages.
He noted that this feat has gone a long way to helping a lot of Nigerians to read and write in their own languages, apparently preserving their culture, adding that the organisation had provided the Bible for those with visual disability and Nigerian sign language Bible for the deaf.
Ajiboye disclosed that the arduous task of translating an entire Bible costs a minimum of N72 million, if completed in 12 years.
He added that being a non-profit making organisation, the organisation solely depends on financial assistance and contributions from those who appreciate its work of making the Bible available to every segment of the society as well as contributing to preservation of Nigerian languages and her divergent culture.