BY Emmanuel Elebeke
The Head of Co-operation and Culture at the French Embassy, Patrick Perez has called on government and private sector to pay more attention to the study of French language to enable unemployed Nigerian youths access job vacancies in foreign missions.
Perez stated this during the official launch of first bilingual magazine in Nigeria, Le Clezio in Abuja.
He said that increase in the study of French language in Nigeria would not only enhance the bilateral relations between Nigeria and France but would enhance economic growth through job creation within and outside Nigeria.
Mr. Perez said the entry of Le Clezio magazine into the Nigerian market, which was written in both English and French languages, was necessary to enable the embassy remove the language barrier that had existed between Nigeria andFrench-speaking countries in the world.
‘’It is very important we support French language because this is the first time we are having this kind of magazine in Nigeria. It will help readers improve their knowledge of the language. It is also going to improve the bi-lateral relationship between Nigeria and France. This will encourage good and harmonious relationship between Nigeria and all French member- countries in the sub-region.
‘’France and Nigeria have excellent relation and have a lot of relations in education and different sectors of the economy. The introduction of this magazine would further enhance such relations and open doors for more benefits accruable to Nigerian youths,” he added.
Also speaking at the occasion, the editor –In-chief of the Magazine, Eunice Kazeem said that the arrival of the bi-lingual magazine into Nigeria is an actualization of long dream of French Institute in Nigeria, aimed at helping Nigerian youths to develop their capacities and explore potentials in foreign missions.
She bemoaned the low penetration of French language in Nigeria, which she attributed to inadequate number of French teachers in Nigeria and availability of readable materials in the country. This she said had constituted a serious barrier for Nigerian youths to access job opportunities with many international organizations, especially the French speaking countries.
‘’It is a dream that has come through today. We have been nurturing the dream for a very long time. It is out of passion and a commitment to help the youth in human development because here in Nigeria, we have so many international organizations with many job vacancies and our youths can’t access such opportunities because of their inability to speak French and we are talking about unemployment.
Language barrier is the problem, if Nigerian youths can be French literate, they will secure gainful employments. This is our own way of encouraging French language in Nigeria and opening doors for our youths to meet with the outside world,” she said
The bi-monthly magazine which will cover tourism, culture and entertainment will circulate in higher institutions, public and private organizations and in all francophone countries.
While calling for more access to the language in Nigerian schools, Kaseem urged government to make the language more attractive to teachers and students to help Nigeria improve in the language.