NIGERIA has been rated by the World Culture Score Index as one of the countries in the world that has the lowest reading culture.
A recent survey on hours of reading per week per person by the World Culture Score Index showed that
India is leading in reading culture with a score of 10.42 hours per week, followed by Thailand with 09.24 hours and China eight hours.
Only two African countries of Egypt and South Africa were listed in the survey, with Nigeria not being listed at all.
The reason for this poor reading culture according to the National Librarian/Chief Executive Officer of the National Library of Nigeria, Prof. Lenrie Aina is as a result of lack of budgets for libraries.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on activities earmarked for the advocacy and promotion of national readership in Nigeria, Prof. Aina stated that limited power for librarians to engage schools to participate in reading promotion activities was also another challenge in readership promotion in the country.
He further identified lack of availability of suitable reading materials, absence of well-designed reading activities in schools and homes, lack of trained staff to prosecute reading culture in schools and lack or ineffective monitoring and evaluation readership promotion programmes as challenges affecting readership promotion.
He said that the theme for this year’s campaign is, “Working together to build a virile reading nation: Challenges and strategies.”
He, however, disclosed that many strategies have been mapped out to tackle poor reading culture in the country which include the provision of library/literacy services, organising schools debate and reading competition, staging exhibitions of books and parents reading to children from conception.
He further stated that the National Library has 26 branches and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, noting that three were shut down and that efforts were being made to reopen them.