Contestants from Lagos State – Joshua Awosikunde of Methodist Nursery & Primary School, Agege and Favour Phillip of Darocha Nursery & Primary School, Oshodi – have emerged winners of the third edition of the Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition after beating their regional counterparts from Plateau, Gombe, Enugu, Edo, Abuja at the grand finale which held last week at the MUSON Centre in Lagos.
Commenting on the successful literacy competition, the Country CEO, Lafarge Africa Plc, Michel Puchercos, said that the organization continues to provide support and interventions in education as part of its core areas of social investments in furtherance of its commitment to building a greater Nigeria. He explains that the competition is one of the national social investment programmes developed by the construction solutions giant to take corporate social responsibility beyond her host communities to a wider Nigerian audience.
“Our motivation is to continue to provide support and interventions in the area of education as a focus area for our social investments to demonstrate a commitment to building a stronger Nigeria”, he said. Puchercos expressed that the company’s contributions to literacy in Nigeria are geared towards achieving its goal of creating value and delivering the best returns for all stakeholders in a consistent and sustainable manner. “For us at Lafarge Africa Plc, we are excited about this initiative of contributing to the breeding of a generation of literate Nigerians as studies have shown that children who have developed strong writing, reading and comprehension skills perform better in their formal or informal educational pursuits, they become lifelong learners and sought-after employees,” he said adding that the commitment to pull the younger generation out of poverty and underemployment should start from now.
In her remarks, the Chairperson of Ovie Brume Foundation, Ms. Evelyn Oputu expressed that the foundation was set up to give to the society and develop the potentials of the young people who do not have the opportunity others have to further their education which is the basis of the foundation. She applauded Lafarge Africa’s dedication and formidable partnership that has ensured its smooth progress. “We are all here today because we have found a partnership in a company like Lafarge who is committed to building a better community by giving back to the society and not just to exploit the resources they are exposed to. They have recognized that for our society to grow and evolve to become whole, the education of young people is important,” she noted.
The First Lady of Ogun State, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, stated that the initiative is commendable because results have shown that the pupils have improved from the previous edition in terms of literacy and spelling which is as a result of the continuous effort of the Lafarge Africa Plc and Ovie Brume through the Lafarge National Literacy Competition.
In addition, several other gifts, the winners of the competition were rewarded with the star prize of N250, 000 each while the first runner-up from Plateau State went home with N200, 000 each for the pupil. The second runner-up was given N150, 000.
The Lafarge National Literacy Competition is organised annually, in collaboration with Ovie Brume Foundation, a non-governmental organization. It engages pupils in activities that measure and advance their ability to read, write and spell correctly. It also features literacy tests, essay/summary writing, and spelling bees to evaluate their reading and writing abilities.