The National Library of Nigeria says it is collaborating with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to promote readership campaign across the country.
Prof. Lenrie Aina, National Librarian, said this during an inauguration of the Readership Promotion Campaign on Tuesday in Abuja.
The theme for 2018 campaign is“ Sustaining Life Long Reading For Positive Change”.
According to him, there is a need to take the campaign to the grassroots to encourage reading that is why the partnership with the NYSC will help achieve the set target.
“The highlight of this year’s programme is engaging the NYSC as part of our pilot project to establish reading clubs across the nation,‘’he said.
Aina decried the fact that from the recent statistics, Nigeria was not a reading nation, while describing the situation as sad.
He said something needed to be done urgently about the poor reading culture in Nigeria.
He added that the campaign was a tool to help in addressing the poor reading situation.
“Nigeria as a country and the National Library in particular will be committing an unpardonable mistake if we fail to inculcate in our children and generations yet unborn good reading habit, ‘’ he said.
The library scribe said the campaign which was an annual event would be held in the 36 states of the Federation including the FCT.
He said the objective of this year’s campaign was to sustain the awareness created by previous campaigns through improved and continued advocacy.
He added that the campaign was also aimed at promoting reading beyond sheer utilisation and examination purposes and encourage lifelong reading from womb to grave.
“The campaign will help encourage parents, especially mothers, to read to their babies from the womb because research showed it helps increase their intelligence.
“The campaign is also aimed at stimulating the interest of the Nigerian children in reading and learning so as to build their morale and cultural values for national development, ‘’he said.
He added that the campaign would further help to support the creation of model reading clubs at both primary and secondary school levels.
Aina listed the activities lined up for the campaign to include, scholarly paper presentation, quiz competitions, drama and debates, presentation of books as gifts among others.
He also said there would be a visit to ante-natal wards to educate pregnant women on the importance of reading to their babies right from the womb.
The Director-General, NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Suliaman Kazaure, pledged service of commitment to helping the National Library increase readership in the country especially at the grassroots.
He said the service was well positioned to ensure youths get back to reading books.
“We pledge to make the corps members available for this project and we believe this partnership will help turn around the reading culture in Nigeria,’’ he added.