FG will build the National Library prototypes in 12 states

The federal government said it would build 12 prototype libraries in selected states to improve library services and promote reading culture among the nation’s youth.

Speaking at the inauguration of the prototype building of the multi-million naira library in Ilorin, Kwara State, National Librarian Prof. Chinwe Anunobi said the library will stimulate research and deepen the culture of reading in Nigeria.

Anunobi, who officially handed over the project site to contractor Cagewox. Net Limited, at a brief ceremony in Ilorin on Thursday, commended the administration headed by President Muhammadu for prioritizing the development of the library program in Nigeria.

She explained that the mandate of the National Library is to have a branch of the National Library in all the states of the Federation, saying that there are currently 33 branches and of these, 12 are running a prototype while 22 operate in temporary offices. .

She revealed that the National Library was not present in four states: Anambra, Zamfara, Kebbi and Delta because the states did not show interest, just as she commended the government of Kwara State for having provided land for the construction of the National Library Building in the State. with minimal cost.

She lamented the poor reading culture among Nigerians, especially the youth, which Anunobi said was responsible for the high rate of exam misconduct perpetrated by students and candidates in schools and public examinations across the country. .

“I want to emphasize that this is a question of value system. We cannot only blame young people, we also blame parents and society because if society changes its habits: valuing the knowledge that is hidden in written documents in paper or electronic form, young people will follow this line”, a she added. noted.

Anunobi said the results proved that many people develop dementia (a usually progressive disease marked by the development of multiple cognitive deficits such as memory impairment) very quickly because they don’t read to broaden their horizons.

“The only way to do that is to educate schools, the public and the hinterland, the hard to reach to read and that’s what the National Library is doing.”

She said it was unfortunate that even some parents encouraged their children to commit exam fraud knowing full well that the “godfather” was there and all that was needed was to get the certificate. “For these people, the third class of university is not a challenge.”

Anunobi warned the project consultant and contractor to ensure value for money, saying government approval of the project was not easy, adding, “It was another thesis defense after my PhD. , in particular to defend the competence and capacity of the consultant. and the contractor to carry out the mandate. »

She said she would not accept any shoddy construction, urging them to justify the trust placed in them while instructing officials at the National State Library branch to closely monitor the project in order to s ensure that a dignified edifice is built for the people of the state. .

A deputy director and head of the Kwara State branch of the National Library, Alhaja Olabimpe Olani, said she thanked God for the “dream come true”, noting that the journey to handing over the site to the contractor for the start of the works was a very tight but scary, “why because, I prayed that this land would not be taken over like the previous ones that were revoked.”

She noted that the location of the new library building in the New State GRA (Government Reserve Area), would create accessibility for members of the public and surrounding communities to make maximum use of the library.

The project manager, Yazid Umar of Cagewox Net Ltd, promised to deliver quality work and to abide by the terms of the agreement, including completing the project within two years and handing it over to the government.

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