INVESTIGATION: Much hyped Akwa Ibom "e-library" has no website

On Monday, the governor of Akwa-Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio, led President Goodluck Jonathan to an elaborate ceremony to inaugurate the state’s multimillion naira “e-library”. 

The commissioning ceremony was organised to mark the end of construction work on the project and signal the beginning of use of the facility.

The president did the usual tape cutting, briefly inspected the facility and gave the governor a pat on the back before hopping on his plane back to Abuja.  

But perhaps unknown to the president, the edifice he commissioned with much pomp and ceremony does not have a website as expected of any electronic library of this age.

A web platform, experts say, is a core, indispensable part of electronic libraries across the world.

“I was overjoyed after learning about the commissioning of an e-library in Nigeria,” Jackson Ikane, a university student, said. “But my joy was short lived. The library is not what I thought, It doesn’t have a website!”

Electronic libraries all over the world are designated as such for having a physical site, and most importantly, for having collections, stored in digital formats, that could be accessed remotely via the Internet.

The Akwa-Ibom “e-library” was inaugurated despite having only the physical site.

Aniekan Umana, the state’s information commissioner told PREMIUM TIMES the newly inaugurated library had one, but he could not provide us with link to the site.

“Google it,” he said on the telephone on Tuesday.

Pressed further on the matter, he asked for time to source it from the library. Twenty-four hours later, Mr Umana failed to provide us with a url to the state’s “e-library” website.

Media commissioning

State governors in Nigeria often times overemphasise commissioning ceremony that state projects attract – for the media mileage – ahead of building high quality projects for their electorates. 

In most cases, journalists are flown or bussed from afar to complement expensive live coverages of the commissioning ceremonies. Some inauguration ceremonies are usually conducted even when projects are still far from completion.

In some cases, governors spend more money organizing flamboyant commissioning ceremonies than they are willing to spend on the commissioned projects.

During the commissioning ceremony on Monday, Mr. Akpabio, described the three-storey library complex as the first of its kind in West Africa. 

He said the library has digital collections of 16.5 million e-documents “which can be accessed by users simultaneously.”

He added that the library also has two million electronic books “that can be downloaded” in addition to 14.5 million electronic research e-journals.

The governor added that the library has a conference centre with language translators, and urged the president to bring international conferences to the state, to be hosted in the “e-library.”

Mr. Umana could not explain how books could be downloaded from afar (as claimed by the governor) without a functional web platform.



PT Mag Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...

BE THE FIRST TO KNOW! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.