Mr Victor Bandele, the Deputy Managing Director, Deepwater Asset, TotalEnergies Nigeria, has charged students to improve their reading habits to enhance character development and self-discovery for sustainable success.
Bandele gave the charge at the 2022 Book Reading and Open Day Forum for Senior Secondary Schools in Lagos State organised by TotalEnergies in collaboration with NNPC and other partners.
The event had the theme: “Books, Gateway to Discoveries.”
He said the book reading was aimed at promoting reading among students and encouraging them to develop the habit as a way of life.
According to him, the day also presents an opportunity to share career trajectories and explore career requirements and opportunities to guide the students in making early career decisions.
He described the theme of the book reading as apt and timely, saying that reading helps on the path of discovery, especially for young ones.
“To discover yourself does not usually come without effort. The few who put in the effort to read develop a new and different hindsight every day that prepares and leads them to innovations, when the opportunity comes.
“Nothing positions you better to discover yourself than reading. You must read regularly and voraciously as this broadens your horizon.
“Reading is one of the most essential habits we need to develop in life for information, direction and for character development,” he said.
He urged the students to avoid distractions that could be a drag on their dream of discovering new things that would impact the environment positively.
“All the distractions that are incidental to young ones today have magnified the importance of this book reading and open day programme.
“I encourage you to make a conscientious effort to research good books with themes and characters that align with what you would like to do in future.
“Join book clubs, attend book launches and reading events. If possible write your books and I’m sure you will discover many amazing things,” he said.
Emphasising the significance of books to the students, Bandele quoted Barack Obama, former President of the United States of America to have said, “reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the book selected for the reading at the event was written by Dr Femi Adedina, a lecturer at the Lagos State University of Education Ijanikin.
The book is titled, “Notes of a Migrant. A Memoir.
Mrs Bunmi Popoola-Mordi, the Executive General Manager, Country Services, TotalEnergies, said the book was selected for reading to expose the students to multifaceted experiences, and cultural and societal values.
“We are trying to prepare our children who are our leaders today and champions of tomorrow.
“With this book, I believe that the children now have a better understanding of our cultural and societal values. We have positive values and we should not throw them away because of westernisation.
“This book has also taught them that they must strive to achieve anything just like the author did, despite the challenges he faced to get his PhD in Australia,” she said.
Dr Femi Adedina, the author, described the book as an eye-opener for students to learn how to cope with the travails of life.
According to him, the book reveals that there are always challenges and barriers on the path to success, but the key to surmounting them was determination.
“Reading this book exposes you to the travails of a black man in Australia and how he overcame his challenges while attaining his PhD degree.
“It would make you understand that for you to achieve anything in life, you must factor in challenges, barriers and problems. How you deal with these challenges depends on you as a person.
“As young people who desire to travel out of the country, the book will also let you know that relocating to another country is not sweet.
“You are going to face challenges, discrimination and racism. If you are strong enough, you will be able to overcome,” he said.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Abayomi Abolaji, urged them to adopt the habit of reading daily to nurture and stimulate the brain.
This, she said, would prepare them to lead exemplary lives and demonstrate excellent leadership in all stages of life.
NAN reports that 10 secondary schools in Lagos State participated in the book reading and open-day forum.