Regional winners have emerged in the 6th Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition which started in August 2019 in the six geo-political zones of the country. Two winners each emerged from Ogun, Rivers, Enugu, Kogi, Gombe, and Kastina States at the end of the regional competition last week. The winners Daniel Alao, Divine Nwafor, Ledee Prosper Barikpoa, Emmanuelle Nuakuadeekari, Michael Anigwo, Kosisochukwu John, Yakubu Abdulbaki, Abdul Mumuni Zarfira, Ibrahim Muhammad Hussaini, Aisha Yusuf Abdullahi, Jamila Gambo and Muhammadu Salele will proceed to the Grand Finale in Lagos on November 7th, 2019.
With this, Lafarge Africa Plc reiterates its commitment to contribute to the strengthening of public education in order to bridge the literacy gap in Nigeria. The company has received tremendous support and endorsements by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), and the Federal Ministry of Education.
Launched as a flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) intervention by Lafarge Africa in 2014, the Lafarge Africa National Literacy Competition has since grown to become a national initiative positively impacting children and teachers across the country. “Our target was to increase the literacy skills of 500 primary school pupils in our host communities by at least 25%. Since its inception, the competition has impacted more than 700,000 primary school pupils in 1,665 schools across 544 local government areas (LGAs). Lagos State won the competition last year and we look forward to this year’s highly contested grand finale. ’’ said Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, the Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development.
According to Folashade, promoting literacy and education over the years has proven to be an effective approach to alleviating poverty and improving the well-being of the society, hence Lafarge Africa is leveraging on the national literacy competition in achieving equality and fostering sustainable development across Nigeria.
The competition which now is in its sixth edition is organized and delivered across 109 senatorial districts across all 36 states of the federation including the FCT; working with implementation partners – State Universal Basic Education Commission (SUBEBs), TEP Centre and Ovie Brume Foundation.
Titilope Oguntuga, the Sustainable Development and Corporate Brand Manager added, “Lafarge Africa’s Annual National Literacy Competition is an intervention in Nigeria’s education sector in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Four which focuses on ensuring inclusive quality education and learning opportunities for all. It is also part of the company’s overall sustainability ambition hinged on four pillars, including climate and energy, circular economy, environment, and community. Our annual National Literacy Competition sits under the community pillar.”
According to her, over the last six years, Lafarge Africa has continued to introduce new ideas as a way of improving the competition and making it bigger.
‘This year, we introduced the computer based testing (CBT) for the first time as a mode of assessment. The tests include a reading assessment exam using a questionnaire of forty objective questions, summary writing, essay writing and an off competition spelling Bee. After being coached using specially developed study guides, select pupils compete in a state run-off, which sees two candidates; male and female emerge to compete at the regional levels. The winning regions then proceed to the grand finale where six winners will emerge.’
According to a 2016 UNESCO report, approximately 758 million adults, that is, 15% of the world’s population remain illiterate with women constituting two-thirds of the population and Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 26% of the world’s illiteracy rate. In Nigeria however, UNICEF estimates reveal that approximately 65million Nigerians are illiterate while over 10million children are out of school.
About Lafarge Africa Plc
Lafarge Africa Plc, a leading Sub-Saharan Africa building materials company is a subsidiary of LafargeHolcim, a world leader in building materials. Listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Lafarge Africa is actively participating in the urbanization and economic growth of Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa.
Lafarge Africa has the widest footprint in Nigeria with cement operations in the South West (Ewekoro and Sagamu in Ogun State), North East (Ashaka, in Gombe State), South East (Mfamosing, Cross Rivers State) with Ready-Mix operations in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. Lafarge Africa has a current installed cement production capacity of 10.5Mtpa.
Lafarge Africa leverages on its innovative expertise to provide value-added products and services solutions in the building and construction industry in Nigeria. Additional information is available on the web site at www.lafarge.com.ng
LafargeHolcim is the global leader in building materials and solutions. We are active in four business segments: Cement, Aggregates, Ready-Mix Concrete and Solutions & Products. With leading positions in all regions of the world and a balanced portfolio between developing and mature markets, LafargeHolcim offers a broad range of high-quality building materials and solutions. LafargeHolcim experts solve the challenges that customers face around the world, whether they are building individual homes or major infrastructure projects. Demand for LafargeHolcim materials and solutions are driven by global population growth, urbanization, improved living standards and sustainable construction. Around 75,000 people work for the company in around 80 countries.
Director, Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development