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World Book Day: BAN hails book lovers, to launch African Chapter of UN SDGs Book April 23

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Oluwadare Michael Oluwatuyi, BAN president

OBINNA EZUGWU

As the world marks the 2021 edition of the World Book Day today, the Booksellers Association of Nigeria (BAN) has facilitated with lovers of books the world over, even as it uses the occasion to call attention to its forthcoming launch of the African Chapter of the UN SDGs Book Club scheduled for April 23, 2021.

BAN in a statement by its president, Oluwadare Michael Oluwatuyi, hailed the tireless commitment of the Nigerian book community towards the cultivation, promotion and perpetuation of the books and reading culture in the country despite existing challenges.

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Oluwatuyi who is also the Managing Director of CSS Bookshop Limited, noted that while the Covid-19 pandemic has had negative effects on the book space, it also provided opportunity for greater engagement with the world of e-books and digital learning.

“On this most auspicious occasion of the commemoration of World Book Day 2021, the Booksellers Association of Nigeria, BAN heartily felicitates with billions of book lovers the world over. We salute your tireless commitment to the cultivation, promotion and perpetuation of the books and reading culture and encourage you to continue to sustain same,” he said.

“Here in Nigeria, we recognise that several extenuating circumstances have continued to militate against the more widespread cultivation and sustenance of the reading habit. But we have been, and remain encouraged by the selfless work done by stakeholders, enthusiasts and ordinary citizens to help ensure that the book fires do not go out. We salute your doggedness and urge you to remain steadfast and unwavering despite the odds.

“Appreciating the critical role that authority plays in the formation and development of cultures, we encourage and call upon all tiers of government in our country Nigeria to use the occasion of World Book Day 2021 to recommit themselves to the very simple but grand ideal of nurturing a society where the citizens read. Accordingly, we demand a review of laws and agencies that relate to the book sector and the practice of reading in order to make them better fit for purpose.

“We appreciate that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on our book space for months now. But we also note that it has also afforded us the opportunity for greater engagement with the world of e-books and digital learning. We call for more concerted initiatives in this regard from our policy makers. Much more has to be done in the area of broadband penetration, cheaper internet and e-libraries equipping.

“We also want to use the occasion to call attention to the forthcoming launch of the African Chapter of the UN SDGs Book Club which the Booksellers Association of Nigeria is a partner organisation. Scheduled for April 23rd, the project would not only further boost the culture of reading in the continent, it would equally serve as a veritable platform for the promotion of the Social Development Goals of the United Nations, which Nigeria is a signatory to. Let us all recommit to building and boosting the reading culture.”

 

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