By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Mr David Adejo, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, has urged students in the country to rekindle the reading culture.
Adejo gave the advice on Tuesday at the launch of the 2023 Readership Promotion Campaign organised by the National Library of Nigeria, in Abuja.
The 2023 Readership Promotion Campaign is taking place in all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with the theme “Read your way to the top”.
The permanent secretary, who expressed concern over the poor reading culture among Nigerian children, regretted that half of the adults in Nigeria hardly read books.
“It is a general saying that if you want to hide anything from a Nigerian, put it in a book. This is becoming worse because we are reading far less than we used to.
”This is more evident in our young ones and is becoming worrisome with the heavy reliance on digital reading sources,’’ he said.
According to him, the Annual Readership Promotion Campaign is a way of moving the nation forward economically, socially and politically.
“Statistics show that a good percentage of Nigerian children have trouble with reading comprehension.
“This made National Library of Nigeria to initiate various readership promotion campaigns to make reading a top priority.”
Speaking earlier, the National Librarian/Chief Executive Officer of the NLN, Prof. Chinwe Anunobi, said that the 2022 readership campaign impacted over 4,000 individuals.
A bulk of those individuals were secondary school students and other adults, he said.
Anunobi blamed the poor reading culture in the country on inadequate educational resources and the advent of social media among others.
“I need not overemphasise the position that we must encourage our children and youths to jettison social media and read because independent reading leads to an increased volume of reading.
“The more one reads, the more knowledge of words and language one acquires,” she said.
Also in her remarks, the Chairperson of the Readership Promotion Campaign, Mrs Amaka Ojielo, said that the theme of the campaign was apt.
`It is only through reading that one can excel academically, economically, socially and health wise,” she said.
Ojielo, who said that the benefits of books and reading could not be overemphasised, said that the National Library of Nigeria’s readership campaign was an effort to make the country an information literacy nation. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)