Lafarge National Literacy Competition helps children in Nigeria open a new chapter in their lives

28 November 2017

The United Nations (U.N.) recently named Nigeria as the country with the highest number of children not in education. In this context, Lafarge Africa Plc’s National Literacy Competition is supporting and safeguarding the future of generations to come by coaching primary aged pupils to improve their core literacy skills.


Valuing education

Education is essential in any country with a growing economy, and is therefore key to Lafarge Africa Plc’s corporate social responsibility in Nigeria. Working in complement to the government’s efforts to improve education, Lafarge Africa PlC has contributed N700 million (about USD2 million) to educational initiatives over 11 years, from bursaries to providing writing materials, and, since 2014, the National Literacy Competition.

The National Literacy Competition aims to raise the standard of English Language in public primary schools. Nigeria's literacy level is 59.6% (for people aged 15 and above) which is significantly below the global average of 86.3% and the sub-Saharan Africa average.


The competition seeks to touch lives of our diverse people in a sustainable way and Lafarge Africa Plc is pleased with the positive impact we have made in the past four years

Folashade Ambrose-Medebem
Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development

A bright future for a new generation

In the four years it has been running, the National Literacy Competition has benefitted over 300,000 pupils across 244 local government areas. Aimed at primary school children aged between 9 and 13 years, the competition began with state run-offs in September, followed by regional finals, and the grand finale held in November in Lagos. Edo state has emerged winners of this year’s Lafarge National Literacy Competition. 11-year-old Yusuf Hassan and 10-year-old Faith Toun-Agbai from Edo state emerged winners in the keenly contested finals.

Lafarge Africa’s initiative not only helps the winning children, but aims to broaden the academic horizons of a new generation of Nigerians and to help them access the education they need to realize their future ambitions. Pupils participating in the competition are coached in spelling, pronunciation and writing, using specially developed study guides to build their literacy, cognitive writing and numeracy skills. Lafarge Africa teams actively volunteer to coach pupils, sharing their enthusiasm and celebrating their progress.


For an initiative that started as a Reading Project across the five locations where Lafarge Africa is present, the competition has grown into a national event. Our overall target is to lay a solid foundation for improving the literacy level across the country

Michel Puchercos
CEO of Lafarge Africa Plc