There is growing apathy towards reading in Nigeria – Chief Folaranmi

An author, Chief Banji Folaranmi has expressed concern that harsh economic conditions and insecurity are responsible for the dwindling literary values in the country.

The author, who is a one-time lawmaker, made the submission in an exclusive interview with Radio Nigeria.

Chief Folaranmi, who explained that reading and writing required full concentration, said such could only be done effectively where the atmosphere was conducive.

“Problem of the contemporary world has increased geometrically. Not only the youths, even the older generation is living under frustration, everyone is frustrated and when it comes to reading, it needs one hundred percent concentration but can we have that in Nigeria. If it is not religious crisis, it will be Boko Haram or hike in price of utilities and commodities. How can anyone concentration. Those that are meant to read are on the field struggling to eat.

Apart from this, with the modern challenge of “Yahoo Yahoo” many people don’t want to burn their candles, everyone wants to get rich quickly. Nigeria is a readless society” He said

Talking about qualities of authors, Chief Folaranmi said those who intend to leave legacies and relics could be tactically encouraged to keep on writing but noted that writers for commercial purposes might find it hard to thrive because the society lacked interest in reading.

“You might have something to offer with good packaging. Whether it is well packaged or otherwise, if there is no patronage, what would you do?

So you might have a good book, you might have a beautiful idea but what people are looking for is the fastest way to make money”

On the parts of authors, he expressed displeasure that plagiarism had found its way among scholars and authors, citing instances where academic awards were stripped off recipients found guilty.

“People are not ready to make research nowadays, they do copy cats. Instead of them to go to the field and make research, they don’t do it, all they do is to go to the internet to copy and paste with due respect to outstanding and dutiful ones.”

On state of the nation, Chief Folaranmi who is also a politician, joined his voice to calls for restructuring.

While condemning the spate of insecurity and intolerance at some levels, the former House of Representatives member maintained that a review of the 1999 constitution was necessary.

Adedayo Adelowo

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