Chairman of The Punch Nigeria Limited, Mr. Wale Aboderin, on Thursday observed that the reading culture had dwindled in Nigeria because of modern communication technology, while also expressing his commitment to help in raising the next generation of readers through the Young Punchers Club.
Aboderin spoke at the 62nd anniversary and groundbreaking ceremony of the school hall at Yejide Girls Grammar School, Ibadan, which was organised by the Yejide Old Girls Association.
The Punch chairman, who was the chairman on the occasion, also promised that the best Young Puncher would be given an opportunity to do paid holiday job at the Punch headquarters in Ogun State, where she would gain a first-hand experience in journalism.
“People do not read anymore because of the modern communication technology. We prefer to use our mobile telephones instead of reading books. However, books will never die. I promised donations to YGGS on behalf of Punch Newspaper, but I also wanted to ensure that we develop the next generation of readers. I kept my word to the school and I am happy that today there is a Young Punchers Club in the school. I will make more donations to the school, but I want the junior arm to also benefit from it,” he said.
The highlight of the event was a presentation by three members of the club on corruption and women, abstinence and law as a career.
On his part, Aboderin counselled the pupils on how to use their time purposefully to build a good future for themselves. He also laid the foundation stone for the extension of the school hall and advised the school authority on how to get the best out of the school’s basketball team in view of their successes in school competitions.
In her reaction, the National President of the YOGA, Chief Mrs Kemi Sarumi, thanked Aboderin for his commitment to the success of the school, while also commending the visions of the families of Aboderin, Alayande and others, which culminated in the founding of the school more than six decades ago.
She said, “Our mission is to build on that vision and make the school the best public school in Oyo State. We have executed some projects and apart from this new project, we hope that very soon we shall give the school a befitting library.
“We recognise the enormous challenge of the government and also acknowledge the support of the old girls of the school, as well as donors like Aboderin, in lifting the school. Parents must contribute their own quota by paying the little fees that government ordered on their children because, in the real sense, education is not totally free. It is our responsibility to make sure these children get the best foundation they need.”