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NLA laments FG lack of interest on libraries

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By Usman Oladimeji

Federal government fails to employ a single librarian in 30 years.

The Nigerian Library Association (NLA) laments what it describes as government complacency, lack of luster interest and negation towards the operation of librarian and abolition of federal universities libraries across the country. In an interview with journalists in Abuja, The President of the Association, Dominic Omakaro revealed that the federal government has not employed any professional librarian in its educational institutions in more than 30 years. He added that in recent years the school library system has been experiencing paucity.

Omakaro says that the government’s lack of interest in promoting the area has hampered the development of the school library system. This is in spite of NLA relentless efforts in producing over 135 professors and numerous academic doctors in its 60 years of existence. As this continues, working in Nigerian schools as a librarian has grown more difficult. Omakaro said that for the last several years, the National Library building has been a massive unfinished project.

Government should revitalize neglected school library systems.

Association president emphasized that the federal government has a filial duty to invest in the area of librarianship on an annual basis and encourage initiatives such as the Readership Campaign. This is geared to make schools’ library system effective and duly to the fact that Education is a paramount factor in the Nigeria constitution and should be enhanced. In accordance with this, NLA pushes to enrich the school library system area with attention and promotion.

In the same vein, the NLA president expressed concern that students have abandoned school libraries due to the absence of professional librarians to manage them. Omakaro said this is also a significant impetus for the government to revitalize the challenging and neglected school library system and appreciate the importance of recruiting professionals to manage the libraries. He added that crime and the craze for wealth would reduce if the mind of young people was attached to reality through the Culture of reading.

FG continues construction of the National Library building.

Also in recent times, the association denounced the condition of libraries in the states stating that the support from various state governments is not encouraging. This is despite the association’s significant contribution to the area such as its impact on library and information services provision in the country as it was in the forefront in establishing the National Library of Nigeria in 1964. NLA was also proactive in the establishment of African Library & Information Association & Institutions, (AFLIA).

On the other hand, Omakaro went on to explain that the perpetual effort of the association has eventually drawn the attention of and propelled the federal government to continue Construction of the colossal National Library building. He claims that the administration that is being led by President Muhammadu Buhari has administered the project funding through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), and that fifteen percent of the total project fund has been disbursed so that construction may be restarted.

NLA president called for presidential library to be established.

Moreover, the NLA is continuing in its movement to bring the school library system area to the light as it demonstrated in its just observed “Library Week” tagged: Revitalizing the School Library System the Way Forward. Omakaro further called on the Nigerian political leaders to establish a presidential library just like the United States in order to keep track of record for present and posterity reference, study more and broaden their knowledge for more effective leadership.


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