Librarians Seek Completion Of National Library Building

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Nigerian Library Association (NLA) has appealed to President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to order the completion of the National Library of Nigeria headquarters in Abuja.
The building has remained uncompleted since the 2nd Republic despite the approval of funds by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to do so.
The president and national chairman of the association, Pastor Dominic Omokaro, made the appeal when he addressed the press in Abuja yesterday on the forthcoming 62nd national conference and annual general meeting.
The library project was awarded in 2006 to Messes Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) and since then it has suffered setbacks due to the inability of various administrations to release enough fund for its completion.
On the conference, Omokaro said the meeting would be held from July 7 to July 12, 2024 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State with the theme: “Promoting Diversity and Inclusiveness through Innovative Library and Information Service Delivery in Nigeria.“
He said, „The National Library started in 1982 by Alhaji Shehu Shagari‘s administration but successive governments have not taken interest in it for reasons best known to them.
„We engaged the federal government severally and to the glory of God, the immediate past administration of president Muhammadu Buhari found a need that the edifice should be completed and took it away from the federation account and asked TETFund to use their funding to complete the project.
What is delaying it now is what we don‘t know, but we are appealing to president Tinubu to help us and mandate TETFund to go ahead into completing that project because we understand that certain amount of money running into billions have been approved for the completion of that project.“
The association further called on the federal and state governments, employers of labour, and regulatory bodies in the library and education sector to take immediate steps to remedy these anomalies facing library in Nigeria, saying that leadership positions in libraries be rightfully filled by qualified and certified librarians who possess the requisite knowledge, skills, and commitment to advance the field of librarianship in Nigeria.
He said „The Federal Government should through the office of the Head of Service of the Federation give employment waiver for the employment of professional librarians in the federal civil service. State governments should also do the same.
The FCT Administration should help reinforce the Public and School library System and if possible, consider the establishment of the FCT Library Board for ease of management of the public library system in the FCT.
We also want the government of President Tinubu to help restore hope to this critical sector that helps in shaping the needed manpower for national development by the restoration of a vibrant library system in Nigeria by appointing a special adviser to the president on library and information matters who should also double as the Librarian of the Presidential Library as it was in the days of President Obasanjo.“


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