The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Barrister Tokunbo Wahab, has urged students in Lagos State to make reading a continuous exercise if they desire to solve future leadership challenges, just as he revealed that 243 Public School Libraries have been digitalised across the State.
He made the call at an event organised by his Office to celebrate the Year 2022 World Book Day, with the theme: “You’re a Reader”, held in collaboration with the Lagos State Library Board.
Wahab, represented at the event held in Alausa, Ikeja, by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Special Adviser on Education (OSAE), Mr. Adeniran Waheed Kasali, harped on the importance of reading, saying: “The World Book Day is a global event initiated by UNESCO to celebrate readers”.
He pointed out that the Day is very unique as it was designed to further encourage youths to develop their intellectual knowledge by being avid readers of many books.
While noting that the 21st Century is technology-driven, Wahab said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration prioritises education as a tool for development, pointing out that the third pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda focuses on Education and Technology.
The Special Adviser noted that the State Government had digitalised about 243 public schools across the three senatorial districts in Lagos to enhance the reading culture among students.
“The OSAE, through the Lagos State Library Board, recently organised the Lagosreads Inter-Schools Quiz Competition geared towards promoting the reading culture. I, therefore, enjoin all students to read continuously to proffer solutions to the various leadership challenges”, Wahab said.
On his part, the Director, Lagos State Library Board, Mr. Asimiyu Amoo Oyadipe, noted that books are capable of changing the world as readers are leaders.
He explained that reading is an intellectual activity that is driven by knowledge, adding that the event was also aimed at celebrating readers in the State.
“Reading must be taken seriously as it helps to actualise our individual and collective dreams”, he said.
Similarly, the President, Network of Book Clubs and Reading Promoters in Nigeria, Mr. Richard Mammah, stated that readers can fix problems in the country, as such, the goal is to establish reading clubs in the 774 LGAs in the country.
“To achieve this, reading spaces must be readily available. 39 of such have been identified across the country and we intend to discover more”, he said.
Mammah revealed that Lagos has been selected as the National Book Club City for Y2023 with various activities lined up.
Other high points of the event include a rendition of poems, a drama presentation by students, and the reading of Ben Carson’s book titled: “You have a brain” by guests and top government officials.
World Book Day was first observed by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on April 23rd, 1995 as a worldwide celebration of books and reading. The day holds special significance as it marks the death anniversaries of two of the world’s greatest writers, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and William Shakespeare.