From Geoffrey Anyanwu and Jude Chinedu, Enugu
The President of Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA), Chief Uche Anioke has attributed the woes of Nigeria to what he called the emptiness of the political class.
He said the reason for their emptiness unfortunately was because most of them were more interested in sharing allocations than in enriching their mental capacity through reading.
Anioke who spoke while addressing a press conference to mark this year’s World Book and Copyright Day in Enugu with the theme, “Read… so you never feel alone,” stressed that
most of the nation’s leadership challenges could be traced to endemic apathy towards reading.
He said, “Reading can be so much fun. Our leaders don’t read and that is why when you talk about the economy, they mix things up.
“Only very few leaders read and those ones, when they speak, they speak from knowledge. Readers are leaders, but conversely, in Nigeria leaders are not readers.”
Anioke however, congratulated the Nigeria Senate for its recent amendment of the Copyright Act and urged the House of Representatives to pass the same amendment so as to make book reading more attractive.
The NPA President also urged the government at all levels to rehabilitate the public libraries described as antiquated, isolated, dilapidated and not updated, with modern books.
On her part, the Coordinator of South-South/South-East Directorate of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Mrs Ngozi Okeke urged parents to indoctrinate their wards into reading at a very early age.
She said that NCC supports children with books to build their reading culture by encouraging them to read at least one book a day.
“We advise them to read one book a day. As a commission, we believe in catching the children young. That’s why we partner with other bodies and regulators to support the children’s reading culture,” she stated.