By Felix Kassim
A Professor of English Language at the Veritas University, Abuja, Gabriel Bassey Egbe, has called on the Federal Government to adopt a policy that will see to the use of Nigerian version of English in the conduct of external examinations.
Prof. Egbe, who made this call in Abuja on Monday at a briefing ahead of the maiden inaugural lecture of the Catholic-owned University, said no version of English is inferior to the other.
He said the inaugural lecture which would be delivered by him on Thursday 14th November, 2019 and titled: Of New Englishes and New Literacies’, is a wakeup call for the development and standardisation of Nigerian English for more effective usage.
“Nigeria should start examining candidates for external examination in Nigerian English…., the concept of native speakers of English is dead. All we need now is to have a standard for Nigerian English,” Prof. Egbe said.
While saying that Nigerian English is not the same as Pidgin English, the first Professor produced by Veritas University, said there is need for the country to do away with the belief that English Language is a colonial tool but instead develop appropriate literacy with the use of the language.
Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Rev. Fr. (Prof.) Hyacinth Ichoku, said the inaugural lecture testified to the rapid growth in the institution’s academic prowess since its inception in 2018.
The VC said the University, which now boost of about 2,000 students has continued to widen its academic programmes both at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels, adding that the institution recently commenced new programmes in Political Science and Economics.
“We are beginning PhD programme in Political Science and Economics and we have gotten the approval of the National Universities Commission (NUC),”
He lauded Prof. Egbe (inaugural lecturer) as a good product of the University having risen from the ranks to become a professor over a period of years.
In a remark, the Chairman of the University’s Ceremonial Committee, Rev. Fr. (Dr) Basil Ekot, reiterated the commitment of Veritas University to continue to play a major role in the development of the country through the churning out of quality graduates and effective researches.