By Olubusuyi Adenipekun
Students in Senior Secondary schools nationwide are set to compete for the mouth-watering cash awards and sundry gifts awaiting winners of this yearâ€™s National Reading Competition of the Nigerian Breweries Plc.
The Corporate Affairs Adviser of the company, Mr. Yusuf Ageni said in Lagos on Tuesday while addressing the press that the competition will be in four stages, including school, state, zonal and national levels, adding that the competition, which is for students in SS1-SS3, is meant to improve the reading habit of the students and to support the laying of a solid foundation for the education of the youths.
Ageni explained that for the school level which is to hold on September 30, each principal will conduct the school examination in their respective schools in order to produce the best two candidates that will represent the school at the state leg of the competition, adding that each state including the FCT will produce her best five candidates for the state leg of the examination who will then proceed to the zonal stage, slated for November 28 and 30 at designated cities in the six geo-political zones of the country, including the FCT.
He further said four candidates that emerge from each of the six geo-political zones and three from the FCT will proceed to the national finals in Abuja billed to hold between January 23 and 25.
The first two stages of the competition, he says, will take the format of an aptitude test that will comprise knowledge from all areas of study while the last two stages (zonal/final) will require students to have read a total of six books selected by NB Plc on which they will be tested.
Mr. Ageni said each zonal overall winner will get N30,000 and N150,000 worth of books for the school library while first runner-up and second runner-up will go home with N40,000 and N100,000 worth of books for the school and N30,000 for the school respectively.
The prizes for the winners at the final stage, according to Ageni, is a Laptop and N200,000 for the school. The first runner-up will receive a Laptop and N150,000 personal gift and one set of computer and printer for the school with the school also getting N400,000 worth of books.
The second runner-up in this category will also go home with a Laptop and N100,000 personal gift, one set of computer and printer and N200,000 worth of books for the school.
He disclosed hat the competition is funded by NB/Felix Ohiwerei Education Trust Fund, set up in 1994 to support the course of education in Nigeria.
He says of the impact of the competition on the education of the youths. â€œThe National Reading Competition is one of our several youth empowerment/education support initiatives. The fund has been very active over the years excellence through intervention of strategic areas of education at various levels.â€
He added that the programme has continued to grow over the past five years and has become one of the most eagerly awaited competitions by secondary school students in the country, adding that the level of participation by schools across the country has considerably been on the increase.