The Federal Government has lamented the low rate of reading habit among Nigerians.
This is as it launches a nationwide reading campaign to improve reading skills across the country.
Speaking during the launch of the 2022 readership campaign organised by the National Library of Nigeria, the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah, said efforts were ongoing by the Nigerian Government to entrench, stimulate and enhance the reading of books, newspapers and magazines.
He added that this was especially important at a time when an increasing number of people spent less time reading, and when reading skills were declining.
“This may have been the cause of suicide bombing, banditry, terrorism and other societal vices,” Opiah said.
He commended the Management and staff of the National Library of Nigeria for taking this year’s Readership Promotion Campaign to the grassroots where it was most desirable, saying, a reading society no doubt was an informed and knowledgeable society that contributed positively to economic transformation and all-round development of its country.
“Reading adds quality to life, provides access to culture and cultural heritage. Reading empowers and emancipates brings people together. In addition, reading improves your focus, memory, empathy and communication skills.
“It can reduce stress, improve your mental health and make you live longer. Reading also allows you to learn new things that will help you to succeed in your work and relationships. It expands your vocabulary and strengthens your writing abilities and makes you intellectually sound.
“The general notion that Nigerians are reading less than they used to, and that a worrying percentage of children have trouble with reading comprehension have prompted the various Readership Promotion Campaigns by the National Library of Nigeria and other stakeholders.
“The Federal Ministry of Education has made the promotion of reading culture one of our top priorities, this is reflected in Pillar 10 (Library Services in Education) of the Ministry’s Education For Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan,” the Minister said.
The National Librarian and Chief Executive Officer of the National Library of Nigeria, Professor Chinwe Anunobi, in her remark at the event also lamented that the habit of reading was speedily approaching freezing point in Nigeria.
She insisted that Nigeria must put reading at the top of her priority list in the quest towards attainment of the all-inclusive sustainable development hinging on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved and sustained, particularly the SDG4, which is centred on education.
Anunobi stated that the campaign was designed to awaken reading consciousness among Nigerians by way of promoting the availability and use of good reading materials by all and sundry as well as collectively seek solutions to the obstacles confronting reading culture in Nigeria.