Rivers State wins 2nd Lafarge-Ovie Brume Literacy Competition
AFTER a keen contest at the grand finale of the 2nd Lafarge National Literacy Competition, Rivers State last week emerged winner of the competition. Lagos, Kogi, Enugu, Kaduna and Taraba States were in tow as their flag bearers finished first, second, third, fourth and fifth runners up in that order.
In the literacy competition, Lafarge Africa Plc., is working in conjunction with a non-governmental organisation, the Ovie Brume Foundation. The competition is, among other things, aimed at supporting youth education and empowerment in the country.
The competition, which commenced July 29, 2015, went across various states of the country berthing in Port Harcourt, Abuja, Enugu, Gombe, Kano and Abeokuta before the grand finale in Lagos.
In her address, the Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Africa Plc., Mrs. Adepeju Adebajo, noted that her firm, through its employees volunteer programme tagged “Lafarge Friends of Community,” has been in the forefront of the national competition in partnership with Ovie Brume Foundation, and other relevant agencies of government for the second year running.
She emphasied that the competition was also aimed at promoting value and excellence along the entire education value chain, while improving literacy skills across public primary school pupils in the country. It engages pupils in activities that measure and advance their ability to read, write and spell correctly and also features literacy tests, essay/summary writing and spelling bees to evaluate their reading and writing abilities.
She said the outfit “initiated the Lafarge Friends of Community (FOC) to engage our staff as volunteers in several value adding initiatives and projects at all our locations. One of such initiatives is the Lafarge Book on Wheels (BOW), where our volunteers engage public school pupils in different communities in Gombe. Rivers and Ogun states especially, in book reading sessions to support and enhance their levels of literacy.
She further stated that “for us in Lafarge, corporate social responsibility is a worthwhile investment, and education is, and will remain a key focus area. It is our desire to continue to improve upon the shape and scope of this national competition as our humble contribution to the development of children and youths who are the future leaders of this country.”
On her part, the wife of the Ogun State governor, Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun, advised parents to encourage their children to read, stressing that despite parents’ busy schedules, they must inculcate literacy culture in their children.
Similarly, Chairman, Lafarge Africa PLC, Mr. Mobolaji Balogun, for the firm, Nigeria’s record breaking out-of-school children, which stands at 10. 6 million was simply deplorable, “with literacy level of both children and adults being unacceptable. So, we are willing to continue to do our best, with the support of all stakeholders, including those of us present here, to turn things around.”