Total Exploration & Production Nigeria TEPNG has charged secondary school students in Nigeria to shun all forms of drug abuse and embrace good reading habits.
The call is coming on the heels of the increasing rate of substance abuse among the youths including secondary school students, the attendant health challenges and social vices.
Making the charge in Port Harcourt at the 2019 Book Reading and Open Day forum for some select secondary schools in Rivers state, Executive Director, Total E&P Port Harcourt, Victor Bandele told the students that to read is a life long exercise for anyone that wants to grow.
He described the annual Total E&P programme as a dear one to the company intended to build the capacity of school children who are leaders of tomorrow.
He said: “We are encouraged to continue with this very, very important programme through which is needed to inculcate healthy reading habits into school children. We believe in the development of the intellect of the future generation.”
“We can only give you what we have which is just like what we are doing which is to encourage the habit of reading. You need to read till the end of your life. You need it to continue to grow. By the time you stop reading, you stop growing intellectually”, Bamdele added.
Executive Director, Total E&P expressed hope that at the end of the programme every participating sudden student would appreciate the importance of reading books and embarking on research saying that through reading books one can understand someone he had not met physically.
The Executive Director Total E&P said further; “If you want to be a distinguished person start by being distinguished in the choice of what you choose to read from now. If you look into good books you can get one idea that can transform your life.”
Also speaking at the programme which has as its theme “Beyond Boundaries”, Dr Anthony Onu, of the English Language Department University of Port Harcourt, who moderated the reading session for the junior secondary students declared that “a reader is a leader.”
He advised the children, “If you stop reading you become irrelevant in your field. Studying is like planting, reading is planting and if you plant good seeds you reap the good result.”
He regretted the poor reading culture of the country saying that the country was fast becoming a gutter people where 90% of our leaders don’t read anything.
“There is Port Harcourt library and I don’t think anybody goes there. The best you can do for yourself is to engage in reading. You can’t be anybody without a habit of reading. Prioritise your values and pin them down on reading”, he charged the students.
Part of this year’s programme was literature reading introduced for children in junior secondary school and from which 75 questions were posed to the children from a novellet.
The senior secondary school session saw representatives of various schools present a report on research conducted in three different areas of Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility CSR of companies, Exploration Process and Effects of Drug Abuse.
While three students from the junior secondary school were rewarded as best among others, all the senior secondary school students who presented research reports were rewarded by the company for their impressive performances.