Media Director of Umah Publishers Nigeria Ltd, Mr Israel Tijani, on Monday called for the promotion of reading culture in the country.
Tijani made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said that the step was necessary to improve communication skills and comprehension among students.
The media director said that the publishing company, on its part, was organising a literary contest in that direction, targeted at students from junior and senior secondary students.
He said that the contest was aimed at fostering a reading culture, improving literacy learning, pronunciation, accurate use of words, and the students’ vocabulary, among others.
“Our corporate responsibility is giving back to the society by promoting a reading culture and improving learning skills in schools, ’’ Tijani said.
He said that the contest would also help in guiding students, preparing them for their future, and developing them to become leaders.
Tijani said that the company had received the approval of the Plateau State Ministry of Education to begin the literary competition in the state as talent hunt, to improve and boost reading.
“Plateau State is one of the pilot states, and the government has indicated interest in encouraging students learning Literature in English, which saw Prof Wole Soyinka win a Nobel Prize.
“The state has concluded arrangement to herald the maiden edition of the National Secondary Schools literary contest which will give students in public and private secondary schools equal chances of participation.
“The contest will be kicking off with Plateau State and will eventually be conducted throughout the 36 states, and FCT before progressing to zonal level.
“Winners from the zonal level will compete against themselves at the grand finale, which will produce the national champion,’’ he said
Tijani urged local governments in the country to key into the contest by sponsoring indigent students.
He also urged parents and guardians to purchase copies of the novels to be used for the competition for their children because it was required for eligibility to participate in the contest.
“Principals of public and private schools should see the contest as fighting illiteracy in Sub-Sahara Africa where the record for poor learning is on a high rate,’’ he said.