By Emeka Aginam
The Director General of D Alex Ekwueme Foundation, Dr Duke Igwilo has disclosed that the Foundation is targeting at least one million books for distribution to primary and secondary school libraries in Nigeria.
Igwilo, who made this statement yesterday in Lagos when the Foundation paid a courtesy call to Vanguard Corporate Headquarters in Lagos noted that the Organization was poised to bringing back reading culture in the system through encouragement of book publishing and donation.
While admitting that educational standard in the country will continue to dwindle unless reading culture among the youths are revamped, he said that Alex Ekwueme Foundation, a legacy of integrity and service was committed to increasing overall educational awareness in Nigeria and generate a reading culture among students, especially those from poor and deprived background.
Launching a world-wide appeal for donation of books to help it establish a Book Bank, increasing educational awareness and reading culture in Nigeria among others are part of the programmes of the Foundation.
According to Igwilo who is passionate about capacity building among the youths, the past governments have not given adequate attention to the level of illiteracy in Nigeria and declining state of schools.
“The situation has reached a crisis dimension such that the present government has now proposed to set up a Presidential Commission on Education.
“Textbooks have frequently been replaced by lecturers’s handouts because most of the books are too expensive for students to buy. Unfortunately, the availability of information communication technology is not yet widespread such that e-versions of printed materials are not widely obtainable in Nigeria” he said.
He said that it is in recognition of the state of affairs and furtherance of the educational philanthropic activities of the their patron, that Dr Alex Ekkwueme Foundation presents the “Donate a Book Scheme” (DAB) .
The Foundation, according to him, seeks to make partnerships with key players in Nigeria working in all areas of the Millennium Development Goals, especially in the areas of education, poverty eradication and social economic development.
He said that Foundation promotes the ideals, values and legacies of Dr Alex Ekwueme, first Vice President of Nigeria.