LagosReads will revolutionise reading culture, says governor’s aide

Obafela Bank-Olemoh

Special Adviser to Lagos State Government on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, has assured that the newly unveiled “LagosReads,” will improve the reading culture among residents and bring a radical change in Lagos literacy rate.

He gave the assurance at Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba, where he formally unveiled the initiative creatively designed to make reading cool and fun. The primary objective of the project according to him is to revive the reading culture to what it used to be in the 70s.

If this is achieved, he said this would benefit the entire society, as the nation will begin to reap the dividends inherent in having a literate society.

Bank-Olemoh further explained that the initiative would see residents who expectedly are registered members of public or private libraries, including that of schools, compete for mouthwatering prizes in a knowledge contest that would be held bimonthly.

Shortly after unveiling members of the committee that would run the online competitions, he also announced a publisher, Mr Kunle Kasumu and the titleholder of the Guinness World Longest Reading Marathon, Treasures Olawunmi Bayode as ambassadors of LagosReads.

He said, “Participants have been grouped into three categories, and we have the children’s category ages 5-12, teens’ category, 13-19 years old and young adults ages 20 and above. It is open to every body in the state. The only criterion is that you must be a member of a public or private library or even a book clubs. The maiden edition of the competition will take off in August this year and the website will be open by July for further details and registrations.

“We will also after announcing a book that will be read for the month, organise weekly quiz online and free airtime for winners. This is to ensure that people are not only reading but also comprehending what they are reading. For the competition, adults will win prizes worth N200, 000, while winners in the children category would go home with N70, 000.

Beyond reading to pass examination, there is need for people to read other books to develop their mindsets. That is why we have introduced all these incentives to make reading more fun.”

While the Chairperson, Nigerian Library Association (NLA), Lagos branch, Mrs. Rachael Odunlade, expressed that the project will improve the diction, spelling and writing skills among the youths; Head of Branch, National Library of Nigeria, Mrs. Obianuju Onuorah, described the project as laudable.

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