We must encourage reading culture among PWDs- Lalu

By Rosemary Ogbonnaya

Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Mr. James David Lalu reaffirmed the need to encourage reading culture among Persons with Disabilities.

Lalu disclosed this at the National Book policy Analysis review Workshop organised by a coalition of Partnership for Learning for All In Nigeria,PLAN, Development Alternatives Incorporation,DAI, and UKAID, in Abuja, on Monday.

He made this plea in solidarity to the clarion call by various stakeholders in the book industry as they converge to chat a way forward to decimate dying passion for reading among the populace especially, children with Disabilities on the continent of Africa.

“In as much as we are in the computer age, our children must be constantly reminded that readers are leaders, “he opined.

According to him, many of the youths today have abandoned reading of books and preferred interactions through social media.

The ES also seized the occasion to point out a gap in the definition of book review policy to include “Accessibility” for the benefit of the visually impaired in the society. This will include production of books in brail version to accommodate the blind community.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Educational, Research & Development Council, NERDC, Prof. Ismail Junaidu underpinned the imperatives of reviving the reading culture amongst the teaming population of youths in the country.

Junaidu asserted that government must do all it can to re-awaken the research centers for a steady growth and development of the country.

“Our R&D centers must become functional again, if we really want to transform our country and put her on the path to prosperity” he said.

Also, the Senior Responsible Owner,SRO, Foreign Commonwealth Development Office, Janice Dolan used the platform to reiterate FCDO’s commitment to funding education of children in Africa for the next seven years.

She said 86percent of children below ten years do not have access to learning materials.

Janice further advocated for the creation of more library networks that will trigger a transformation in the learning process.

Other stakeholders from the Association of book publishers, the association of authors, librarians, National Association of proprietors of private schools,NAPPs, Book Trust fair, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Nigeria Customs Service, all promised to work together in order to achieve a robust policy that will promote reading and sustain literacy in Nigeria.