By Okeoghene Akubuike
The Federal Government has budgeted N100 million to boost the National Library of Nigeria’s (NLN) Readership Promotion Campaign, Prof. Lenrie Aina, the National Librarian, has said.
Aina, who spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja, said the NLN was extending the campaign to motor parks across the country.
He said that government was showing interest in the programme as it increased the budget for the campaign from N65million in 2018 to N100million for 2019.
Aina said that the main objective of the campaign was to ensure that all Nigerians imbibe the reading culture.
He said the 2018 campaign was targeted at pregnant women, because research had proved that expectant mothers had communication with the unborn child, and going through them, one could imbibe the reading culture in the child right from pregnancy.
”We intend to still continue to target school children, both primary and secondary, and pregnant women. But this year we want to extend it to motor parks across the country.
“We plan to have a meeting with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Association of Transport Workers. Many people patronise motor parks; we have the drivers, conductors and passengers.
“Most times when the passengers are travelling, they may have to stay three, four hours expecting more passengers to fill up the vehicle; during this time what are they doing, and because Nigeria is an oral society, they will just be talking and shouting.
“So we want to encourage them to use this period to read something, anything, even the drivers, the conductors can read books on road safety. Why do you tell people to read, it is to gain knowledge.
“So we want to also stimulate the interest of people in the motor parks too, we are going to buy relevant books, when we go to FRSC, we will ask them to suggest books we can buy,” he said.
The national librarian added that the National Library was also going to continue its collaboration with the NYSC, to help to improve the reading culture among Nigerians.
According to him, we contacted the DG, NYSC in 2018 to involve corps members in helping to promote reading culture in Nigeria because of their wide reach.
Aina said the corps members were expected to introduce book reading clubs wherever they find themselves, which would be supported and funded by the National Library.