Winners have emerged in the fourth edition of the Bookville Reading Competition, organized by one of the foremost bookstores in Nigeria, Bookville World and sponsored by leading consumer finance company, Zedvance Finance Limited.
The Book Reading Competition initiated to encourage reading for pleasure, as an avenue to spice up literature as well as give children an incentive to open a book was held from May 8th to June 19th, 2021 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The event which had over 100 entries saw Ariella Anwana of Aladumo International School emerge as the grand prize winner while Onyeka-Daniel Ivana Blessing of Federal Government Girls College Abuloma and Nekuojo Osahenrumwen Omelikamu of Teko School clinched the second and third position respectively.
According to Ever Obi, acting Managing Director of Zedvance Finance, the company’s decision to sponsor the competition was to promote reading culture amongst Nigerian students and encourage parents and the society at large to prioritize primary and secondary education for their wards as it is pivotal to our nation-building.
“Part of the goals of United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development is quality education (Goal 4). The objective is to eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations before 2030.
“As a corporate organization, we have decided to launch a campaign themed ‘Readers are Leaders’ to support and drive the actualization of SDG 4 (quality education). Between 2019 and 2021, we have provided writing materials, television sets, fans and other academic items for many public schools across Nigeria. We have also done the same for students at special education schools.
“Before the corona virus crisis, projections showed that more than 200 million children would be out of school, and only 60 per cent of young people would be completing upper secondary education in 2030. Before the corona virus crisis, the proportion of children and youth out of primary and secondary school had declined from 26 per cent in 2000 to 19 per cent in 2010 and 17 per cent in 2018. This is an indication that we still have a lot of work to do as a society.
“At Zedvance Finance, part of the products offering include Back-to-School loans to enable parents send their wards back to school without worries. They are collateral-free, flexible and convenient loans that they can pay back within 6 to 12 months. This is part of our contributions to ensure that every child has access to education”, he said.
Obi also called on other corporate organizations, philanthropists and non-government organizations to show more support for SGD 4, stressing that is imperative to our collective growth and development as a people.
Speaking during the grand finale, Chief Executive Officer, Bookville Integrated Resources Limited, Mrs. Nkem Asoka commended Zedvance Finance for its efforts towards the promotion of quality education, financial inclusion and bridging the credit gap in the country. She urged corporate organizations to also give more support to the education sector.
At the grand finale held on Saturday, June 19, 2021, Umeji Chiagozim Joan of Helms Bridge School bagged the award of the Most Resilience Contestant while Nwachukwu Kelechi of Oginigba Secondary School won the Most Improved Contestant award. Other winners at the event include Virtue Izontimi of Aladumo International School, Chibuzor Larry Madueke and Bamidele Oluwatobi from Ndubuoke Citadel Schools.