The Radio, Television, Theatre and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria have commended the launch of Igbo and Yoruba services by the British Broadcasting Service, describing it as a welcome development.
Emeka Kalu, the South-East National Vice-President of RATTAWU, gave the commendation in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Onitsha, Anambra, on Monday.
NAN reports that BBC launched the services recently as part of an expansion in local languages aimed at more in-depth reporting of countries around the world.
Kalu said it would help to further promote trade and commerce as well as encourage exportation of Igbo and Yoruba languages and cultures all over the world.
He said the development would also encourage cross pollination of programme content by both local and foreign media practitioners as well as grassroots communication.
He said: “The Hausas have had the advantage of this over the years. It is on record that governments and the people relate easily when local languages are used for communication than foreign languages.
“We commend the BBC for this gesture. It is long overdue.”
Similarly, Tony Nezianya, a Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra, said BBC launch of the services was proactive.
Nezianya said: “They have by extension recognised the contributions of these local languages and cultures to the development of the country.
“They are teaching us what we should be doing because the essence of communication is to reach the rural people, especially a country like Nigeria which is largely a traditional society.
“It is the least we expect from every Nigerian broadcast station across the country.”
He said the development would help to further preserve Igbo and Yoruba languages and cultures of the people, which, he said, were being threatened by urbanisation.
He added: “Many of the people have become urban and are no longer emphasising these languages; the whiteman has identified our problem and has responded appropriately.”