Director of the Institute, Prof. Sam Onuigbo, who made this known during the maiden memorial lecture in honour of Nwoga, said that history of the Institute would be incomplete without recognizing Nwoga’s numerous research activities in languages and his other contributions to the development of the institute.
He said: “Late Prof. Nwoga initiated a project to produce dictionary of Igbo proverbs as a way of boosting Igbo language. We have continued where he stopped and we will soon make that project a reality.
“We have instituted this memorial lecture to immortalize Nwoga in view of his enormous contributions to development of the institute.
“This memorial lecture will hold annually and will be delivered by those who contribute much to the development of language and culture”.
The Director commended various university managements for their support towards the institute since its inception, fifty years ago, and pledged that it would continue to do its best in promoting African tradition and culture.
In a remark, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Sam Onyechi, MD/CEO Training Certification Limited, a specialist oil and gas training company, said the contributions of Nwoga in promoting and preserving Igbo language was commendable and should be emulated.
Earlier, delivering the first memorial lecture, Mrs. Virgy Anohu, an Abuja-based Banker, described Nwoga as a literary giant who transverse the literary world like colossus.
“Nwoga deserved the honour because of his wide- ranging and great contributions to African literary scholarship, he was a great teacher an erudite professor who devoted his entire live to imparting knowledge to people”, she said.
Anohu promised to give N5.8m to the institute to enable it procure some facilities, books and to enable it engage about 80 research assistants to help collect data for the publication of the Igbo Dictionary of Proverbs.
Earlier in a remark, Prof Bartho Okolo, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN said the contributions of Nwoga to the institute would ever be remembered from generation to generation.
Prof Nwoga was born on July 30, 1933 at Ekwerazu Mbaise of Imo state and died on October 28, 1991.
--------Emmanuel Uzodinma/Daily Post Nigeria