The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has inaugurated an ultra-modern public library, worth $6.5 million (approximately N2.04billion), in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, to be managed by the Port Harcourt Literary Society.
Inaugurating the e-library in Port Harcourt, the Managing Director of SPDC, Mr Osagie Okunbor, said the library was accessible to all scholars and researchers, and disclosed that Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN) provided $5million while Port Harcourt Literary Society invested $1.5million on the library.
He said: “When you look at Shell Companies in Nigeria, this project is one of our boldest social investments, and one of the three N2billion projects we are sponsoring to mark Nigeria’s centenary anniversary in the Niger Delta region”, noting that “our choice of these centenary projects and this one in particular is a demonstration of our continued belief in the future of this country, and our commitment to its socio-economic development, especially in the Niger Delta region.
“To ensure that this project is sustainable, the library will be managed by the PHLS and will be a component of the Book Centre that will serve as the hub of activities that will promote access to information and economic growth through education in general and literary acts in particular,” Okunbor added.
He stressed that, “We are convinced that this library will deliver significant benefits and positively impact the lives of people while increasing access to knowledge and education in Rivers and Niger Delta,” explaining that, “This library will be a component of the Book Centre that will serve as the hub of activities to promote access to information and economic growth through education and literary arts.”
He announced that SCiN staffers would donate books to support the library while additional “staff time post-inauguration” would also be provided for effective take-off of the library.
Earlier, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Port Harcourt Literary Society, Dr Chidi Amuta, said the library was conceived to commemorate the recognition of Port Harcourt by UNESCO as 2014 World Book Capital.
He said the Book Centre comprises of four structures including a library; writers’ hostel, an event centre and exhibition hall and a theatre.
“We live in uncertain times, and as such, the attention of youth is torn violently between the forces of new information, new modes of violence and the pull of new money.
Amuta thanked the Government of Rivers State and others, especially the leading originator of the project, Mrs Koko Kalango, for making indelible contributions to the cultural life of Port Harcourt, and indeed, Rivers State, through relentless promotion of reading culture.
Also speaking, Rivers Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Banigo, said the state government was committed to build new schools, upgrade library and other facilities at secondary schools in the state.
Banigo, who was represented by her aide, Ine Fubara, urged students and researchers to take full advantage of the opportunity offered by the library to improve their reading culture and researches.
Also, the National Librarian, Prof Lenrie Olatokunbo Aina, promised that the National Library of Nigeria would give maximum support to the facility, and encouraged others to emulate the bold steps taken by Shell.
The Book Centre comprises of four structures: a Library completed by SPDC, a writers’ hostel, an event centre/exhibition hall, and a theatre, donated by the Rivers State Government, and still under construction.
The Port Harcourt Book Centre (PHBC) is a project of the PHLS, a registered non-governmental and non-profit association of writers, scholars, lovers of literature, books and the arts.
This post was first published on the Thetidenewsonline.com
Views expressed are only those of the authors.
You may share your own views in the comments section.
NOTICE: You can now send us your articles and stories and get published right away. For more details click here.