By Innocent Odoh, Abuja
The South–South Professional Women Association (SSPWA) has expressed its readiness to partner with the Federal and State governments, well-meaning Nigerians and other organisations to encourage and improve the reading culture of the girl-child in Nigeria in order to prepare them for the task of leadership and nation-building.
Chairperson of the FCT chapter of the association, Dr. Emem Oboyuko Olutoke, disclosed this in an interview with reporters, during the launch of a nationwide initiative to encourage the reading culture tagged ‘Read A Thorn’, organised to mark the World Book Day at the Government Secondary School (GSS) Garki, Abuja at the weekend.
She noted that SSPW is a non- profit, non-political, non-religious and non-governmental organisation based in Nigeria with the focus on drawing the attention of the society to be more sensitive and responsive towards gender issues, especially as it has to do with social issues like education, socio-economic and socio-political issues of women and the education of our girl-child.
“We are launching this initiative titled “Read A thorn” and we decided to use the platform offered by World Book Day to launch this project going simultaneously in different parts of the county. It is a day we would like to encourage the girl- children to be more serious about reading because we want to let them know that they have the potential to be leaders and every leader or very aspiring leader must be someone who loves reading,” she said.
She expressed concerns over the declining culture of reading in the country even as she called on the government and well-meaning individuals to think of how to bring books back to the libraries, adding that the Association would want to partner with government to “encourage our girl-children to begin to inculcate reading as a culture and make book their very close companions.”
In his remarks, the representative of the Secretary/Director of the FCT Secondary Education Board, Itam Nneoy, lauded the SSPWA for the initiative even as he called on the government and individuals to assist by donating books and making it easy for the girl-child to access them.
Principal of GSS Garki, Abubakar Saidu, noted that reading equips the mind with not only knowledge but also a veritable ground to acquire good ideas, adding that reading prepares the individual for future employment.