The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has tasked children to imbibe a reading culture for national development.
Mr John Asein, NCC Director General, gave this counsel on Friday, at the celebration of the World Book and Copyright Day, in Lagos.
He said that the theme of this year’s celebration in Nigeria was, “Tell A Story: Book and National Development”, points to the role of the book, in whatever form, as a veritable tool of development.
Asein, who was represented by Mr Mathew Ojo, a Director in the commission, said that literacy and education had become practical and cultural necessities.
According to him, authors, publishers, printers, booksellers, teachers, librarians and readers were stakeholders in the industry, that serves as veritable tool for learning and recreation.
“Books educate, enlighten, entertain and equip individuals to function better and contribute significantly to the social, economic and political development of a nation.
“No wonder, it has been asserted that the volume of a country’s total book stock is an index of its economic growth and level of development.
“For books to contribute meaningfully to development, they must not only be well written and published, but must also be made readily available, ” he said.
Asein said that it was important that a country promotes a culture of reading, particularly amongst children and young persons, adding that this would help build their character and assist them in imbibing the core values that the society cherishes.
He said that the commission had, in the past decade, intensified its anti-piracy operations in piracy hotbeds, across the country.
“It had, in the process, removed from the channels of commerce millions of pirated copyright works, comprising books, software, DVDs, CDs, MP3 and offending contrivances worth billions of Naira.
“Much of the success recorded has been as a result of the collaboration with other enforcement and security agencies, including the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Police, ” he said.
Asein urged authors to share their stories for the development of Nigeria and the benefit of humanity.