The nation’s education sector, has received a major boost, as a Ejemai Olayemi, a public servant and author has unveiled six new children books to effectively answer the financial literacy and value needs of Nigerian children.
Speaking at the Unveiling of the books “ MY Piggy Bank, Money Matters, Keeping Promises, I am not a Bully, I love my body and God made us all , the author indicated that she was worried at the dearth of reading culture in the country and called on parents to start ensuring their children imbibe the culture of reading.
She noted that a recent report indicated that over 62 million Nigerians are unable to read nor write and Nigeria is said to be contributing about six per cent of the over 1 billion persons around the World who can neither read nor write, therefore this is the time to help our children start reading.
Reviewing some of the books ‘MY Piggy Bank’ and Money Matters , Mrs. Funke Osibodu , who was an astute banker and currently the Managing Director of Benin Electricity Distribution Company said that the books is to encourage children to start making the right financial decisions now so they could build their understanding of how to earn, save and invest money.
She said that the books will help children learn money management and also would help them gain financial freedom, and prepare them for the future.
Explaining her experience on savings with the traditional “KOLO’, Osibudu said imbibing financial principles at an early age would go a long way to help the young ones work hard, manage their resources effectively, appreciate how money works and how it could be channeled to productive ventures.
She said that using the ‘KOLO” savings helped her to avoid spending money on frivolities, she counseled that today Piggy bank can help the children on the need to open bank accounts and develop the habit of saving part of their income, no matter how small.
“Our young people are the hope and future drivers of this country. ‘’We want them to understand and appreciate the importance of prudent management of resources in ensuring their personal well-being, financial security and independence in future. Saving your money in a Piggy bank, box, wallet or ‘KOLO’ is a good starting point.‘
Osibodu who was praised for the transparency and discipline that she introduced at the Union Bank of Nigeria called on Federal government and other stake holders to ensure cost of printing books are reduced for affordability.
In her own remarks Mrs Faith Nwankwo who reviewed one of the books noted that It is no longer news that the reading culture in our society is facing a great threat and on a fast decline.
She explained that this is the time to reverse the trend as reading has a lot of advantages, quoting that “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers’according to Harry S. Truman.
She maintained that reading has always been a habit of great leaders. ‘It is one of the most powerful sources of growth, inspiration and new ideas. Reading is a great investment on our personal development ’Reading expands our horizon. It makes one to think beyond his or her immediate environment. It makes one think large. It removes limitations.’Stimulates the imagination, Enhances acquisition of skills for handling complex ideas or issues, Makes research easier, Encourages quick learning and curiosity and Broadens understanding of life.
Mrs Nwankwo indicated that some of the reasons for poor reading culture which include social media, increased Televiewership, high cost of books and absence of libraries must be tackled.
She called on parents to start early as from four months to show babies pictures, they can relate with while at three years intensive reading must start. Also parents and schools should organize activities for children and teenagers to ignite and reinforce their interest in creativity and story telling and recommend ‘A book of the week’ in schools and at home.