By Oghenefego Obaebor
Lagos State, represented by Kehinde Lawal and Idowu Ayomikun has won the 2018 edition of Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition (LANLC).Lawal and Ayomikun won the competition on Thursday at a well-attended grand finale which held at the Civic Centre in Lagos after defeating 10 other pupils from Nasarawa, Kano, Rivers, Ebonyi and Gombe states. Presenting prizes to the winners, Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Africa, Michel Puchercos applauded participants while acknowledging their efforts at every stage of the competition.
He said: ”Apart from the cash prizes, those who take part in this competition go away with indispensable skills for building a sustainable future. We recognize the importance of literacy skills in helping individuals succeed in life. The Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition builds capacity and contributes to developing this much-needed skill in primary schools across Nigeria”.The competition was launched in 2014 as a Corporate Social Responsibility intervention by Lafarge Africa and has since grown to become a national initiative impacting children and teachers across the country.
One of the special guests at the event, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka commended Lafarge Africa for taking up the initiative to urgently bridge the country’s widening literacy gap. Soyinka, who presented the keynote address titled Bridging the literacy gap together, expressed delight that some states known for very high illiteracy were represented at the grand finale. ”It shows that the battle against illiteracy is not lost, it can be won”, he said.The winners expressed gratitude to Lafarge Africa, Ovie Brume Foundation, Oando Foundation and others involved in making the literacy competition a success.So far, more than 500,000 primary school pupils in 886 schools across 544 local government areas have benefited from Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition.The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Education in charge of Basic Education across the country, has recognised Lafarge for its outstanding contribution to the development of literacy in the country.