Sun. May 16th, 2021


Abstract
This paper examines the present position of French as a second official language in Nigeria against the background of Arabic as a foreign language in Nigeria. Both Arabic and French used to be taught as foreign languages in Nigerian schools until about 1996 when the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) elevated French to a second language position. Given the
significance of Arabic both historically and socio linguistically in Nigeria. some Arabic and Islamic scholars in Nigeria have made comments that covertly indicts the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) as being biased and unfair in her treatment of Arabic and French in Nigeria. Based on the sociolinguistics of Arabic and French in Nigeria. this paper highlights a number of factors that have militated against Arabic in Nigeria on one hand and those that have favoured French on the other hand and concludes that the issues involved in the status of Arabic and French as foreign languages in Nigeria are those of national interest and security It observes that
while Arabic is generally restricted to liturgical use in Nigeria. the Nigerian school system is actively promoting French in Nigeria while the French Government is also promoting French in Nigeria as part of its deliberate policy and effort .to promote French across the globe. The paper concludes that needs and environments rather than bias dictate the current general preference for French by Nigerians.