FG to complete ongoing National Library project soon-Minister
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has promised to speed up the completion of the National Library project as soon as possible.
Adamu said that the completion of the project would enhance the integration of intellectual outputs of the citizenry.
He disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday at the conference of Directors and Chairmen of State Library Boards in Nigeria.
The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Sonny Echono said that the theme of the conference was tagged: “Repositioning Public Libraries in Nigeria.”
He said that the role played by public libraries in the development of education cannot be over-emphasised, thereby, needed to give it prompt attention.
According to him, the library is a national pride that any nation, “worth its salt provides one.”
“I am pleased to inform this august gathering that all efforts are being made by the education ministry to complete the National Library of Nigeria (NLN) Headquarters building in Abuja.
“Lesser countries than Nigeria are busy traversing the transition to digital information management that will help integrate their intellectual cultural output and holdings into an integrated digital environment.
“Nigeria is yet to finish building a befitting National Library which holds documents of national importance.
“This meeting is therefore, in pursuant to our determination to develop public libraries in Nigeria to provide effective and efficient information services.
“Such services that will complement those in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.” he said.
He said that the completing of the project would also help rekindle reading culture among the populace.
However, he urged all the participants at the workshop to deliberate and come up with workable solutions to address problems facing libraries in the country.
“Not much attention has been put in place in pursuit of knowledge and information.
“It is however, expected that at the end of this meeting, you will be able to come up with concrete recommendations that will turn libraries into a prestigious national institutions.
“It will be national institutions that will serve as treasures of knowledge and the nation’s cultural heritage.” he said.
Earlier, the National Librarian of Nigeria (NLN), Prof. Lenrie Aina said public libraries in the country had been in a deplorable state, hence the need to chart a way forward to proffer solutions to its development.
Aina said that the public library was the heart of education in the country, adding that most of the libraries especially those in the states are in a terrible condition.
He said that the objective of the conference was to identify problems militating against public library development as well as proffer solutions to them.
He added that the effort would help to reposition the libraries in the country as such would contribute to national development.
He also said that the idea would enable the various governments to consciously consider the development of public libraries throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Also, Prof. Michael Afolabi, Registrar, Librarian Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN) said the council was carrying out a survey on how to transform the 316 public libraries in the country into good shape.
Afolabi called for stakeholders’ collaboration to change the face of the libraries in the country for the progress of the upcoming generation.
Dr Umunna Opara, President, Nigerian Library Association said the revival of libraries would enable them play the role of human capacity building.
Opara said with the excessive increase in school enrollment at all levels of education, public library services were apt to developing potentials in the children.
He therefore, said that the proposed declaration of state of emergency in education should start with libraries of all types.
Opara also said that the Act establishing establishing Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) should be amended to accommodate public libraries in its intervention programme.