The National Librarian Professor Aina Lenrie of National Library of Nigeria Abuja has advised the inmates of Nigeria Correctional Service Ebonyi state to make out time for intellectual growth through reading so as to enrich their minds,change their thoughts positively and the world in general.
Professor Ania represented by Enugu branch head Mrs Racheal Neboh gave the advice recently in Abakaliki during the 2019 national readership promotion campaign program of National library of Nigeria at Nigeria Correctional service premises Abakaliki custodial center.
“The National Library of Nigeria’s 2019 national readership promotion campaign in Ebonyi state with a theme ; Reading: a tool for empowering the vulnerable is the last of a series of six simultaneously planned campaigns on weekly basis that would take in the 36 states of the federation and FCT.it will run for two days in Ebonyi, Bayelsa,Kogi,Ondo, Borno ,Yobe and FCT this November.
” The main objective of this national campaign is to encourage reading among Nigerians byways of carrying out sensitization activities and the provision of good reading materials. It is a collective effort of stakeholders in order to proffer solutions that would ameliorate the poor reading culture in Nigeria. In line with the present administration’s policy of reaching out to the vulnerable and poor, we are covering semi-urban communities and custodial centers of Nigeria Correctional service across the country.
” With the provision of reading opportunities in our semi-urban areas and custodial centers, they can make good use of their precious time instead of on idle talks or discussion. With reading as a tool, the individuals in the semi-urban areas can be empowered with the knowledge and information resources to effectively carry out economic, social and political activities. Similarly, the individuals in our custodial centers can acquire knowledge and be informed to be transformed and become good citizens.
“In a nutshell, poor reading culture in Nigeria is a dangerous challenge to individuals and national development and so must be addressed by encouraging reading in all strata of our country.”
Mrs. Neboh thanked the Controller Mrs. Oputa and the entire staff for their partnership and charged the inmates to embrace the golden massage of reading as a tool for self-reliance and national development.
On her part,the State Controller of Nigeria Correctional Service Mrs Emila Oputa encouraged the illiterate inmates to make good use of the campaign opportunity and books from the national library to increase their intellectual power by reading.
She expressed displeasure that out of 31 inmates in their convict cell only ten are literate, out of 51 in SS2 only 10 can read and write and out of 11 female inmates there only 5 can read and write comfortably but charged the Provost to put more effort in changing the ugly trend for the better.
“Reading is a successful process, If you want to succeed you have to read. The topic for this campaign is apt because most of our inmates are vulnerable . They are not literate. If you are not literate you will not even know when you signed your death warrant yourself.”
Collaborating with her, the Deputy Controller Mr. Raymond Nwagu regretted that convicted inmates do not always like participating in educational activities in the center, saying that such an ugly attitude will make the go out empty as they came to their detriment and that of the society.
The Deputy Controller announced a university scholarship award which he intends to personally sponsor to one of the inmates who wrote the 2019 NECO examination and excelled tremendously.
He appealed to good spirited individuals, cooperate bodies among others for donation of educational materials to ensure effective teaching and learning in the center and thanked the state government for all her efforts in upgrading the Correctional center.
Showcasing high importance of the readership promotion campaign program to the 1200 inmates of the center in Abakaliki all the schools, workshops and skill acquisition venues in the compound were closed for the day to ensure effective participation.
The climax of the campaign was a handover of bookshelf and textbooks to the Controller as well as three bags of rice for the inmates’ stomach infrastructure.
The campaign also featured presentations of educative drama, poems, recitation, motivational talk,news casting in Igbo language among others.
In the vote of thanks ,one of the inmates thanked the organizers and promised that they will dedicate themselves to reading to become become better citizens of Nigeria.
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