Total Exploration and Production, Nigeria Limited, Lagos, has urged Nigerian youths to read for mental stimulation and self-development.
Its Executive Director and Financial Officer, Mrs Tai Oshisanya, said this at the 5th Total Book Reading Open Day Event with the theme: “Read to Lead’’.
The event was held at Eko Tower Canteen on Victoria Island in Lagos in which no fewer than 20 youths participated.
“The brain requires exercises to keep it healthy, one of it is by reading; as reading enhances connectivity in the brain,’’ Oshisanya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.
NAN reports that the title of the novel the students read from is: “Smile, My Beloved Country’’ written by Emeka Onwusorom.
She said that the organisation initiated the event for students with a bid to help them build their reading capacities as well as prepare them for their future careers.
“Reading will broaden their knowledge and keep them strong. Regular reading will help them keep their memories functioning even at their old ages.
“Reading of books will also help children research into their passion and have a voice in the society,’’ she said.
She said that she was happy to have seen the benefits involved in engaging the youth and discovered how interested the students were in reading.
“We purposely brought them into an office environment so that they will know how important it is to read and become better persons.
“It will encourage the youth to put in more efforts in reading their books and in their studies,’’ she said.
Oshisanya also said that they used to monitor the students’ performances through their teachers.
“We want them to know that they can be anywhere and be reading: in their houses, schools, and it will broaden their horizons.
“Reading is very vital, it is not about spending money but searching ones inner self to be able to succeed,’’ she said.
Also, Mrs Bunmi Popoola-Mordi, the Executive General Manager, Total Country Services, said that if students did not read, they would not be well informed about the society.
“It is about change; we need to be orderly, it is about believing in your country so that you can right the wrongs.
“It is about being patriotic, saying no to vices, be patriotic, and shunning corruption.
“It is what we want them to learn in the early stages of their lives that we will expose them to so that they will imbibe it as they grow into adulthood,’’ she said.
Mr Bolaji Olaleye, the Chief Education Officer, Lagos state Ministry of Education, said that the Lagos State Government was happy that some companies were encouraging the reading culture among students.
“Reading is life, it is reading that will give you knowledge of what you want to be in life,’’ he said.
He urged students to cultivate the habit of reading to acquire knowledge, adding that it would impact positively on their lives in the future.
Joseph Bankole, a student of Babalade Secondary School, Lagos, told NAN that he was happy to be among those selected to read the novel.
“It will motivate me to read more and I will urge my fellow students to always cultivate the habit of reading,’’ he said.
NAN reports that “Smile, My Beloved Country’’ is a story about a young Nigerian: Ayo Musa Okeke, who came from abroad to visit his homeland.
During his stay, he witnessed killings, corruption, and other social vices.
He was sad by the ugly incidents; vowed to make a change and turn things around for the better, which he did.
The writer of the novel is a shipping and marine industry professional.