By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has approved the LagosReads Competition geared towards improving the reading culture among Lagos residents.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, who in a statement on Thursday announced the “Books-of-the-month” for August, said the state-wide competition, which is an initiative of the Lagos State Library Board would hold its maiden edition in October 2018.
He said the LagosReads initiative, officially launched in June 2018, was a decisive move by the State Government to not only improve the reading culture of Lagos residents but also reward them for reading.
Bank-Olemoh said that the Books-of-the-Month are literary works, carefully selected by the Lagos State Library Board for Lagos residents to read on monthly basis as part of the LagosReads initiative.
According to him: “We will announce books to be read by different categories of the public every month. We enjoin book clubs, school libraries, public and private libraries across the State to encourage their members to read these books in order to participate in the periodic LagosReads competitions.
“The books for the month of August are: The Making of Nigeria by Constance Omawunmi Kola-Lawal and The King and the Colony by Olasupo Shasore for the Junior and Senior categories respectively, while readers in the adult category are to read White Lagos by Pelu Awofeso”.
He explained that only members of book clubs, school libraries, public and private libraries registered on the portal are eligible to participate in the periodic quiz competition, adding that the registration portal is open to the public.
The Special Adviser added that the project, borne out of Governor Ambode’s resolve to improve the dwindling reading culture of Lagos residents, was aimed at enabling, facilitating and promoting reading programmes and activities in schools, as well as public and private libraries across the State while rewarding Lagos residents for reading.
“This initiative is creatively designed to make reading cool and fun. The primary objective of the project is to revive the reading culture of Lagos residents and promote the proliferation and functionality of libraries and book clubs in the State.”
“Participants in the competition have been grouped into three categories; the Junior Category is for pupils in Primary schools while the Senior Category is for Secondary Students. The third category is for adults which include post-secondary students and individuals who are 16 years and above. Each category has a book for every month,” he said.
Bank-Olemoh also added that only the junior and senior categories will compete in the maiden edition of the competition in October, explaining that the only criteria is that participants must be members of a public, private or school library or book club based in Lagos.
“For the competition, winners will receive prizes worth up to N250,000 dependent on their positions in the competition. There will also be consolation prizes for other participants. We have introduced all these incentives to make reading more fun”, he said.
The Special Adviser added that readers in the adult category, however, would also participate in the monthly online component of the competition starting from August.
He said the Competition will reward four readers monthly with airtime worth N20,000 for answering correctly questions posted on the LagosReads Facebook community, just as he urged readers to join the LagosReads community.