The chief executive officer of the National Library of Nigeria (NLN), Chinwe Anunobi, a professor, has linked the poor reading culture among Nigerians, especially the youth, to the rising cases of examination malpractices perpetrated by candidates, and particularly in public examinations in the country.
A statement by Vershima Orvell-Dio, head, public relations unit of the organisation, noted that Mrs Anunobi spoke while handing over a multi-million naira prototype library building in Ilorin, Kwara State, to a contractor.
She said it was unfortunate that even some parents encourage their children to commit examination fraud “believing that the “godfather” is there, and all that is needed is to get the certificate.”
“Parts of the statement quoted Mrs Anunobi to have said: “I want to emphasise that this is an issue of the value system. We cannot only blame the youth, we also blame the parents and the society because if the society changes its habit: focusing value on knowledge which is hidden in written documents either in paper or electronic form, the youth will move along that line.
“The only way we can do it is to sensitise schools, the public and the hinterland, the hard-to-reach, to read, and that is what the National Library is doing”.
The statement said the ongoing construction of a multi-million naira prototype library building in Ilorin, Kwara State, is aimed at boosting research as well as deepening the reading culture in Nigeria.
The national librarian officially handed over the project site to the contractor, Cagewox Nigeria Limited, at a brief ceremony in Ilorin on Thursday.
She commended the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for prioritising the development of libraries in Nigeria.
The mandate of the national library, she said, is to have a branch of the national library in all the states of the federation, saying there are currently 33 branches.
Out of this number, she said 12 are operating from the prototype permanent office buildings, while 22 are operating in temporary office accommodation.
She added that the national library has no presence in four states: Anambra, Zamfara, Kebbi and Delta because the states have not indicated interests.
She commended the Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State for providing land in “a suitable location” for the construction of the national library edifice in the state.
Mrs Anunobi warned the project consultant and contractor to ensure value for money, with a caution that shoddy construction would not be accepted.
She noted the location of the new library edifice in the state in New GRA (Government Reserve Area), would create accessibility for members of the public and surrounding communities to make maximum use of the library.
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