From: Agaju Madugba, Katsina
The National National Library of Nigeria (NLN) says it has embarked on a project to extend the NLN reading culture campaign to pregnant women in order to encourage them to read books to their babies.
NLN Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Lenrie Aina, who spoke, on Wednesday, while on a working visit to the Katsina State office of the Library, said that all available means must be exploited to sensitize every strata of society and improve the reading culture of Nigerians.
According to him, “We all know that we have a problem because Nigeria is not listed among reading Nations of the world while South Africa and Egypt are listed.
“So, we have been having readership programme campaigns around all the states to reverse this trend.
“We are trying to imbibe it on our kids because a society that does not read cannot be knowledgeable and s society that is not knowledgeable will be difficult to rule.
“That is why government spends so much money for us to do the campaign.
“The campaign is on-going and government has approved money for us to mount another campaign just to ensure that and we are targeting school children – primary and secondary school children – but we want to cover all the strata of the society.
“Our next programme is to even go and meet the pregnant mothers to sensitize them that they must read books to their babies.
“When the babies are born they read the books to them so that they can have the background culture right from the youth.
“We also intend to appeal to our lawmakers at the National Assembly particularly that we are under Art Committee and Senate committee on Education, we are trying to see how we can also involve those members to help us convince their colleagues so that when they go down to their constituencies they also appeal to the people to read because reading is the best thing that can happen to any human being to know much about our society.”
He noted the NLN needs about N50 billion to complete its permanent headquarters in Abuja.
He said, “Our permanent headquarters in Abuja is a massive building but because of funding, it is stalled. “We are working hard on it and the Hon. Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu, is struggling to ensure that.
“We need about N50 billion and we are trying to see what we can do.”