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Nigeria vows to promote reading culture

LAGOS (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian government Thursday reaffirmed its commitment to the promotion of reading culture in the country.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who made this known in Abuja, the nation’s capital, said it was imperative for Nigerians to cultivate a positive attitude to reading.

He spoke at the Grand Finale of the 2017 Readership Promotion Campaign of the National Library of Nigeria in Abuja.

The minister told his audience that the ministry had partnered with the National Action Committee on Read Campaign, adding that this partnership had yielded immeasurable benefits.

According to him, readership promotion is a strategy which will address the issue of falling standard of education in the country.

Adamu also urged Nigerians to encourage shared reading, saying that children should be educated on the importance of books and reading to their education and future lives.

He called on civil servants to cultivate the habit of diligently reading letters, memoranda, reports and minutes given to them to handle as this would boost their career development.

In his remarks, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the importance of reading in any nation could not be overemphasized.

Mohammed said a nation whose citizens have lost interest in reading would be backward in development.

“It is worthy to note that knowledge is power and most of the ideas that rule the world today are all written in book form for us to figure them out,” he added.

“Hence, there is an urgent need for us to promote the culture of reading in our country,” the minister said.


Nigeria’s illiteracy rate alarming: minister

LAGOS (Xinhua) -- Nigeria’s Minister of Education Adamu Adamu Thursday warned the country of its alarming illiteracy rate, put at up to 75 million out of a population of more than 180 million, representing a rate of around 41 percent.

Speaking in northern Kebbi State during a courtesy call on Governor Atiku Bagudu, the minister described the figure as unbecoming and high, considering the country’s population.

The minister led delegates to the state for a two-day International Literacy Day conference organized by the National Commission for Mass Education.

“Education is the bedrock of any country’s development and any country that does not educate its populace is bound to fail,” he added.

“Unfortunately, in Nigeria we have a very large population of illiterates; the illiterates figure, considering our population, is unbecoming,” he said.

Adamu said the federal government was targeting educating out-of-school children, noting that this was part of its strategic plan to reduce the number of illiterates in the country.

On his part, Governor Bagudu attributed the high illiteracy rate in northern Nigeria to Boko Haram insurgency, saying that many of the sect’s followers only knew the Quran but could not interpret and digest its meanings.

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