" ITREALMS: Economic interests spur foreign languages,

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Economic interests spur foreign languages,

... Nigerians should invest locally

Economic interests have been identified as the most motivator that drives the use of foreign languages in another country globally, just as wealthy Nigerians have been urged to invest locally.

Professor of Afrikanistik and Athiopistik languages at the
University of Hamburg, Germany, Joseph McIntyre, made this observation and call, in an exclusive chat with Business Champion in his office recently.
He said hat in many developing and developed countries respectively that prevalent of foreign languages signifies the level of economic ties or interest with the origin of the language.

Attributing this to the reason why some local African languages are spoken in developed countries of Europe.

Hausa, which is dominantly spoken in the northern part of Nigeria, Prof. McIntyre said, became pronounced following the culture of the Hausas to trade around the coastal zones on the continent.

"Hausa is spoken of course in northern Nigeria, many of them have been traders for many centuries and most part of Africa about 300 years ago, was criss-crossed by trade routes," he said.

Prof. McIntye also cited the instance of dominance by Swahili, which
is the core language spoken by people at the coast of East and Southern Africa, such as Kenya, Tanzania down to Zanzibar.

"Swahili was used by the German and British colonialists respectively and it spread in these areas very quickly," the Englishman said.

He further noted that Swahili has spread from the east African coast and is even now spoken as the second official language in Zaire, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He pointed out that this motivation has propelled the first set of Hausa traders in these areas also become Muslims, dramatically.

"This is why you have well over 99 per cent of Hausa speakers in Nigeria and neighbouring countries as Muslims, he declared.

He enjoined wealthy Nigerians and most especially those who looted the country to strive by reinvesting these loots locally, so as to help in revamping the economy.

"Rich Nigerians who have lots of money, where do they invest; They
don’t invest in Nigeria," he lamented.

Instead, he noted, rich Nigerians would prefer to invest abroad by buying houses, even outside Africa and train their wards outside the nation’s shores.

"So, the money they have made, mostly corruptly, does not circulate in Nigeria but circulates in here (Europe)," he decried.

Stressing that if the corrupt Nigerians invest locally, Nigerians would have work, food etcetera, and "Corruption would not be much of a big topic or problem in Nigeria".

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