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The Borno State Government has commended the National Library of Nigeria for taking her readership promotion campaign to the state, despite the security perception of the state by many.
The state’s governor, Honorable Kashim Shettima gave this commendation during the readership promotion campaign which held in Maiduguri, the state’s capital on Tuesday, 17th July 2018.
The governor, who was represented by the state’s commissioner for higher education Honorable Ahmed Usman Jaha, thanked the National Library of Nigeria for including the state in the campaign.
According to the governor, who called for a standing ovation for the National Librarian, “we deeply appreciate the National Librarian for including our state to participate in this nationwide campaign despite the unfavorable perception about the state based on the receding activities of insurgents. In addition, we warmly welcome him to our state and specifically thank him for choosing to be personally present here in Maiduguri on the same date that the campaign is going on simultaneously in Jigawa, Delta and Zamfara states. This is a clear demonstration of his passion for this campaign and we in Borno have fully embraced the campaign and shall take the message to all our people.” He further charged parents to be alive to their responsibility of imparting the culture of reading to their children
Earlier on in his welcome address, the National Librarian, Professor Lenrie Olatokunbo Aina bemoaned the poor reading culture amongst Nigerians, a situation which he said the federal government is determined to reverse for the better. “The federal government is considerably worried about this situation and that is why it is committing funds for us to take this advocacy to all the citizens of our great country” Professor Aina stated. He further reiterated his call that Nigerians should imbibe the culture of reading, which he says eliminates ignorance and rumors.
In his own speech, the chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Bulama Mali Gubio praised the National Library for the initiative of the campaign, saying that he is happy because he is an avid reader who can testify to the benefits of reading.
The chairman who informed the audience that he has a personal library with a total collection of about 30,000 materials decried the situation where people are more interested in the pursuit of certificates, instead of knowledge. According to him, “merely going through school does not make one knowledgeable, except one reads.”
In her own remarks, the Chairman of the National Library Board, Professor Zaynab Alkali, who was represented by Dr. Abubakar Othman said that our lives would be easier and more exciting, if we begin to read, and therefore harvesting the gains of reading. According to her, “civilization was built on reading, long before the advent of technology. Great nations of the world are aware of the importance of reading and have therefore not neglected their libraries.”
Dr. Joseph Tumba, who represented the guest speaker of the occasion, Prof. Emmanuel Campbell, the University Librarian of University of Maiduguri, gave the benefits of reading and the steps to a good reading habit and concluded that no one is too young or too old to read. He said that “although reading is not naturally our culture, we have equally adopted less rewarding habits that are not our culture and as such, should equally adopt reading which has greater rewards for the reader and the society.”
Before going into his presentation, Dr. Tumba informed the audience that Professor Aina taught him, and Professor Campbell about 40 years ago.
The event was attended by some members of the state’s executive council, the state house of assembly and traditional rulers.
At the end of the reading and competition activities, the University Demonstration School won the first prize of a desktop computer and books, while other participating schools also went home with book prizes.