Peter Obi, vice-presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, says Nigeria “isn’t doing well” because there’s not enough investment in education.
The former Anambra governor spoke on Tuesday during the launch of three books — ‘Two Plus One’, ‘English Incorporated’ and Secret of the Egret’ — written by Azuka Onwuka, Nigerian author.
The event held at the Alvan Ikoku Hall of Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Obi, while using books synonymously with education and learning, expressed concerns that not enough is being done to ameliorate Nigeria’s dwindling reading culture.
According to him, knowledge from reading is the currency Nigeria needs for the future.
“Reading is a critical thing. It’s like learning. If you don’t learn, then you don’t have a future. The reason why Nigeria is not doing well is obvious. We’re not investing in education. When we talk about education, we talk about learning,” the former governor said.
“When we talk of learning, reading comes into play. So if you don’t read, you’re hurting yourself. It’s the only capital, the only currency we need for the future. As for those who write, I praise them and support them a lot. I was in a book launch in Abuja yesterday.
“I’m in a book launch today. I’ve always attended any function that has to do with education and reading. Reading would help our education in Nigeria. Education is about reading. The more you read, the more knowledgeable you’re.”
Tony Onyema, a former commissioner of information, culture, and tourism, while speaking after reviewing the books, countered the cliche that Nigerians don’t read, but rather agreed that citizens of the country don’t read the right materials.
“I’m one of the people who don’t believe the cliche that Nigerians don’t read. In one way or another, you must read. It’s either the hard copy of the soft with technology now. They say that readers are leaders. If you don’t, you see yourself declining,” he said.
“Nigerians read but they tend to read materials that don’t add value to their lives. That’s the challenge we have. The quality of our reading is not too good. For young ones, reading is also difficult for them because it’s a generational thing.”
While commending the author on his books launch, Adetunji Oyebanyi, chief executive of 11 PLC, a Nigerian brand that markets petroleum products, pointed out the need to have more indigenous authors like Onwuka telling the county’s narratives.
“When you come across a person who reads, you find that such a person is much more advanced. Azuka’s books touch important subjects in our society, the use of English Language, children’s stories. So much of what is written comes from abroad. It’s important we have indigenous authors telling our stories,” he said.
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