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Soyinka, others set for Lafarge Africa’s National Literacy Competition final in Lagos

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…Oando Foundation, UNESCO, British Council line up
Leading cement solutions provider, Lafarge Africa Plc. on Tuesday announced Nobel laureate and iconic Nigerian playwright, poet and essayist, Professor Wole Soyinka, as the keynote speaker for the finals of the 2018 Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition scheduled to hold Thursday, next week.
Lafarge’s National Literacy Competition (LANLC) is an intervention in Nigeria’s education sector in line with the company’s ambitious sustainability strategy which complements the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Quality Education.
LANLC is organized and delivered across all 109 senatorial districts in all 36 states of the federation and the FCT working with implementation partners – State Universal Basic Education
Commission (SUBEBs) across Nigeria, Ovie Brume Foundation, ThistlePraxis and TruContact.
Educational grants are given to winning pupils to support their primary and secondary education while indigent students, get to have exposure and travels out of their communities for the competition.
Details of the 2018 Competition showed that public school students from the 109 senatorial districts in the country registered for the contest. Tests, to evaluate the reading and writing abilities of the pupils, were conducted in essay/summary writing and spelling bees.
Twelve students from six states – Nasarawa, Kano, Lagos, Rivers, Ebonyi and Gombe – have qualified to compete for the grand prize. The contestants reached the finals after competing with other states in their regions.
In the regional competition which took place in October, Nasarawa State’s Emmanuel Jacob and Janet Bitrus won the North-Central ticket, Amina Aminu and Ibrahim Dalhatu from Kano
State won the slot from North-West, Lagos State’s Idowu Ayomikun and Lawal Kehinde were champions of the South-West region, while Melody Joseph and Destiny Endwell from Rivers
State qualified from the South-South region. In the South-East region, Ebonyi State’s Ogbu
Monday Chukwudi and Otu Precious Chiamaka won the contest while Yusuf Isa and Rumaisau
Waziri from Gombe State got the ticket from the North-East.
The grand finale will hold on November 15 in Lagos. At the end of the competition, winners will
be awarded prizes.
The competition has been endorsed by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), a
parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Education in charge of Basic Education across the country, for its nationwide education intervention and outstanding contribution to the development of literacy in the country’s primary schools.
Speaking on the route to the finals and the theme for this year’s competition “Bridging the
Literacy Gap Together”, the Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem averred that “The objective of the competition is to create more literacy enhancement opportunities for indigent students across Nigeria. We have been doing this successfully for the past five years and we are quite happy with the positive impact we have made so far.
LANLC is part of our overall sustainable development strategy, the LafargeHolcim 2030 Plan, which has four action pillars – Climate, Circular Economy, Water and Nature and People & Communities – each with specific actions and targets to ensure we achieve our ambitions. It is in our People & Communities category that our National Literacy Competition is making a difference.
“We are especially pleased to have Professor Wole Soyinka as our keynote speaker this year as he will be a source of inspiration for a new generation of Nigerians. We are also very proud of the partnerships helping us scale our impact including Oando Foundation, UNESCO Abuja regional office and the British Council” she said.
For the past four years, Lafarge Africa Plc has organized the National Literacy Competition to
“Bridge the Literacy Gap” and support government efforts in raising the standard of literacy among pupils in public primary schools between the ages of 9 and 13 years. Since the inception of the competition, over 500,000 primary school pupils in 886 schools across 544 local government areas (LGAs) have been impacted.

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