LIGHTWORLD Takes Reading Campaign to Ibadan Youth Summit

In this connection, it is important to note that one is beginning to observe several concerted efforts at reviving the dying culture in Nigeria. The Mr. President’s ‘Bring Back the Book’ project is a good example in this direction. I, therefore, wish to call on parents and relevant stakeholders to emulate this example by encouraging good reading habits in our children through the provision of interesting books at home, class or school level, allowing time for reading both at home and school, awarding prizes/rewards for reading competitions and promoting the culture of giving books as gifts to children. The Book Development Centre (BDC) of the Nigerian Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) conceptualized and inaugurated the Young Readers Club (YRC) in Lagos on 17th March, 1984 and since then; the club has been inaugurated in 21 other states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). However, a research conducted by the Book Development Council in 1977 revealed that Young Readers Club was not functional in many states. In this vein, I wish to enjoin the States Library Board, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Civil Societies, Parents Teachers Association, Organized Private Sectors etc to establish and revive Young Readers Club across schools in the State. There should be renewed efforts to encourage schools and individuals to give book prizes to students as a reward for excellent performance in school academic work and in other school competitions. Annual National Reading and Writing Competitions should be organized with a view to identifying for training young Nigerian Authors. Civil Societies should encourage reading by sponsoring budding authors of children’s books and others. Funds from private individuals and NGO’s should be solicited to sustain Young Readers Club activities at different levels. We should equally recognize that the role of Functional Libraries cannot be over emphasized in the drive at reviving Reading Culture. Proper training of Librarians with appropriate volumes of books and creating a conducive atmosphere in Libraries will be the right step in making our children to derive pleasure from reading. Ladies and Gentlemen, while the State Government will continue to provide funds for libraries through budgetary provisions, I wish to use this medium to call on public spirited individuals and organizations to complement the State Government effort at establishing libraries and donate books to schools and communities across the State. Finally, I wish to state that the task of nation building is one which all of us must dutifully perform. I therefore appreciate the presence and support of everyone especially the Organizer of this noble gathering (LIGHTWORLD Network) for making serious effort at resuscitating our interest in developing good reading habits. I sincerely hope that this effort will be nurtured and sustained to yield the desired positive results. Once again, I welcome you all to this programme and I wish you fruitful deliberations. Thank You.