Port Harcourt - President Goodluck Jonathan said the designation of Port Harcourt as World Book Capital 2014 by UNESCO was major achievement that had made it centre of enlightenment and scholarship.
Jonathan, represented by his Special Assistant on Documentation, Molara Wood, made the remark in Port Harcourt at the opening ceremony of Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014 on Wednesday.
He said that the achievement also made the city as one going forward. We can all build upon it to reinforce the reading culture.
He commended the movers of the bid for the world book capital 2014, adding that it was a visionary endeavour that saw Port Harcourt beat 10 major cities of the world including the renowned educational city of Oxford.
He also commended the Rainbow Book Club under the guidance of Koko Kalango, who worked tirelessly towards this investiture that is clearly unprecedented in Sub-Saharan Africa.’’
Jonathan also commended the Rivers Government for supporting the Rainbow Book Club and making the event a success.
He said he launched the "Bring Back the Book" campaign in recognition of the importance of scholarship to the quality of youths and society shortly after assuming office as President,
"The Bring Back the Book initiative was conceived as citizens’ framework to be driven by Nigerians themselves.Port Harcourt has for many years been a pivot of book and literature centre of discussion as well as melting pot for writers and artistes whose works helped enrich our lives.It is against this background that the Federal Government threw its support behind the Port Harcourt World Book Capital bid.It is to the glory of our collective effort that the shared golden dream of the Rainbow Book Club and the entire readership and literary community for this city, has today been realised.’’ he said.
Jonathan commended the World Book Capital programme, saying that it was rich and varied and would touch every age group, especially the youths.
In his keynote address, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, said the fight against terrorism was a collective responsibility of Nigerians.
Soyinka, however, appealed to the federal government not to re-impose tax on books entering or leaving the country.
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