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Lafarge 2018 Lagos winners

Lagos beats other states to win 2018 Lafarge National Literacy Competition

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The 2018 Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition (LANLC) came to an emotional end on Thursday in Lagos as Lagos State, winner of South West Regional finals clinched the coveted trophy and prize money.

Whereas Ebonyi State, winner of South East Regional finals beat Gombe State to come second, fourth position went to Nasarawa State, as fifth and sixth positions went to Rivers and Kano States respectively.

In an interview, the special guest of honour and Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka described the annual championship as one of the best legacies worthy of emulation by other corporate citizens doing business in Nigeria.

He said such yearly exposure of Nigerian young school pupils will raise the needed education consciousness and nationalism as they grow to maturity.

Making his remarks, the chairman of Lafarge Africa Plc., Mr Mobolaji Balogun said the company ventured into the LANLC as an important intervention to complement the government’s efforts at improving literacy levels across the country, saying “Since 2014, we have steadily increased our investment in this important initiative with over N300 million of Lafarge Africa’s Corporate Social Responsibility funding in 2017 committed to various education initiatives”.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the Managing Director of Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Michel Puchercos, thanked other partners in the competition including Ovier Brume Foundation and Oando Plc who raised the beauty of the national competition.

He explained that Lafarge Africa went into the competition as a way of deepening English Language mastery at an early stage of Nigerian pupils life so that they can become champions in future.

Lafarge 2018 Competition
L-r: Managing Director of Lafarge Africa Plc, Mr. Michel Puchercos, Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Onwuka, Prof Wole Soyinka, and chairman of the company, Mr. Mobolaji Balogun seating on the front row facing the competing pupils at the finals of the 2018 Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition (LANLC), held in Lagos on Thursday, November 15, 2018. Photo: Business Hilights

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Onwuka thanked Lafarge Africa for coming up with an education oriented policy as one of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) schemes in Nigeria and encouraged other companies to emulate the kind gesture.

He made it clear that early good command of English language and at least one national vernacular is a strong footing for every Nigerian child for a successful future either in Nigeria or Diaspora.

Giving additional background to the competition, the Director, Communications, Public and Sustainable Development, Mrs Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, said the build to the national final, saying LANLC is organized and delivered across all 109 senatorial districts in all 36 states of the federation and the FCT working with implementation partners including the State Universal Basic Education Commission (SUBEBs) across Nigeria, Ovie Brume Foundation, ThistlePraxis and TruContact.

She revealed that 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.

The Director explained further that the LANLC is designed to among other things, evaluate the reading and writing abilities of the pupils, were conducted in essay/summary writing and spelling bees.

Giving details of the 2018 Competition, head, Sustainability and Corporate Brands, Mrs. Temitope Oguntokun disclosed that public school students from the 109 senatorial districts in the country registered for the contest.

She said 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.

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