Peading promotions group marks anniversary, hosts training
By Ada Anioji
Stakeholders in the Nigerian Book ecosystem have risen from an event convened to mark three years of the Network of Book Clubs and Reading Promoters in Nigeria, NBRP with a renewed push to make the forthcoming Lagos Book Walk activity a huge success.
The stakeholders drawn from the publishing, bookselling, festivals, libraries and reading components of the ecosystem had assembled at the Conference Room of CSS Bookshops, Lagos on Thursday, February 16, 2023 to felicitate with the umbrella body of book clubs and reading promoters in Nigeria.
Welcoming participants to the event, NBRP President, Mr Richard Mammah paid tribute to the dynamism and sacrifice of members of the network, affirming that it was indeed their labour of love that had helped the organisation come so far. He tasked them, and indeed all players in the overall book ecosystem to continue to support the activities of the network, of which the forthcoming Lagos Book Walk occupies a most prominent perch.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Book Fair Trust, NBFT, Mr Abiodun Omotubi said he and the NBFT had watched the growth trajectory of NBRP across the past three years and were indeed amazed at how much ground had been covered. He also lauded the readiness of NBRP to cooperate with other stakeholders in the book ecosystem at literally every point, affirming that such acts of collaboration were very much needed for the continued growth and progress of the entire books ecosystem.
For the Director, National Library of Nigeria, Lagos, Mrs Obianuju Onuorah, she affirmed that from the moment she came in contact with NBRP, the organisation and its officials have been most supportive of her work and that of the National Library of Nigeria. She equally called for renewed vigour in driving the reading promotions dreams and aspirations of many in the country, including most notably, the National Library of Nigeria.
On his part, the Secretary General of the Booksellers Association of Nigeria, BAN, who stood in for the organisation’s president, Mr Dare Oluwatuyi, affirmed that Nigerian booksellers were willing and ready to continue to work with and support the work being done by groups like NBRP and in particular, the forthcoming Lagos Book Walk.
Contributing also, Mrs Yomi Ogunlari, who represented the President of the Nigerian Publishers Association, Dr Uchenna Cyril Anioke urged the intensification of activities at even the micro level if the nation is going to make a dent in winning the war to enhance the reading culture.
It will be recalled that NBRP was flagged off in February 2020 at a meeting in Ikeja, Lagos that was attended by seven members, representing seven organisations in Lagos, including the host that promptly consented to the group using its premises as National Secretariat.
Presently, the organisation has an assured national spread with members drawn from every geopolitical zone in the country and is duly registered with Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Commission.
The Lagos Book Walk, a mega advocacy event, is scheduled to take place on April 27, 2023 in Ikeja, Lagos and would involve among other things, a procession to the Governor’s Office and an accompanying reading promotions concert.
NBRP has also signed MOUs to promote the establishment of book clubs in reading centres and ensure better and more functional library usage across the country with the National Library of Nigeria and the Nigerian Library Association. It also has an advocacy collaboration pact with the Committee for Relevant Art, organisers of the Lagos Book and Arts Festival. It is equally in the organising team for the annual Nigerian International Bookfair and attends programmes and activities of organisations like the Nigerian Publishers Association, the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions, the Lagos State Library Board and the Association of Nigerian Authors.
In another development, NBRP has collaborated with the University of Florida Lastinger Centre in hosting a Science of Reading training session for early years educators and reading promoters. The session took place on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 and was facilitated by Lastinger’s Chief Academic Officer, Dr Paige Pullen.