By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA- THE Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Wednesday, boosted the ministry’s library with 72 books to enhance research and other activities.
Lokpobiri said the move was to ensure the library becomes a place of reliable source of data gathering and use of information by people from different ministries, agencies and schools, where they could access current books for their use.
He also promised more books soon with his salary to add value to the library’s shelves for current information needed by the public.
Some of the books donated include volumes 1-14 (2010) Law Books of the Federation (2010 edition), Act Establishing Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria, and other relevant books to the Library Department.
Other books unveiled were donated by the Director, Lands and Climate Change, Engr Sunny Edibo, who also used his one month salary to provide the books for the library.
He said the ministry’s library cannot lack behind and need more attention to measure up with its counterparts in other ministries, hence will soon be given a befitting accommodation that would be convenient for readers and staff.
He said: “The Ministry’s library has been a host to researchers and students. We have people coming from the Ministry of Defence, and other agencies including students to know more about the agricultural sector, which is now a new ‘bride’, many Nigerians are getting attracted to.
“We deemed it necessary to equip it with such donation of books to add value to what researchers and students want to achieve by knowing more about the sector. We will ensure that the library department has all it takes to offer to the public.
“I used my one month salary to do this donation and I will still do more with my salary to ensure the library department gets the best and relevant books that would be useful to the public.
“Also directors and staff in other departments in the ministry should also do same by donating current books for a functional library.”
Earlier speaking was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Bukar Hassan, represented by the Director Finance and Accounts, Mr. Mamman Idris, called on staff to engage in research through the use of the library.
He disclosed that the 2018 budget appropriation of the Ministry captures provision for a functional e-library that would make accessibility to current books easier.
However, according to the Director Library Services in the Ministry, Osita Bonaventure, the ministry should consider resuscitation of four branches of the library located in Lagos, Wuse, Owerri, and Kaduna, which are no more functional due to funding challenges.
“For me history has been made and this is the first of its kind in this ministry and probably it has never been heard that a serving Minister, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, and a serving director of Lands and Climate Change, Engr. Sunny Edibo, have donated their one month salary each to salvage a library of a ministry. Today, the books standing on the shelves are their contributions to the library.
“It might interest you to hear that this library has four branches at Wuse, Owerri, Lagos and Kaduna but are all closed as they could not be funded. Let me use this opportunity to appeal to the authority to do something to upgrade the library.
“It is pertinent to inform the Minister that the library has been without budgetary allocation for the past years. Even when there was budgetary allocation for the library, it got almost no releases from 2011 till 2017”, he stated.