By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
The Cross River government has announced plans to ensure the sustainability of the State’s library complex in Calabar following commencement of renovation works.
The Governor, Senator Ben Ayade told journalists during an inspection tour of the facility that there will be two emphasis in the operation of the complex which he said has been, “a bit ineffectual and almost in the state of collapse.”
“There are two major emphasis here in this library. One is the business component which has to do with reprography, has to do with binding and all sorts of services that have to do with education related matters including research and development, serving of journals and other learned articles of high repute. The other component is the public service which has to do with the public coming in at low cost,” Ayade said.
He lamented the state of equipment and expressed optimism that as at completion, Cross Riverians will be proud of the way the library will operate.
He averred that: “For ten years this library has been in the state of collapse. We are renovating, reinvigorating and revitalising, bringing in a lot of equipment, new technology and a different access of conducting research in a modern way.
“So, your desktop works and literature works in Calabar will become much easier as you also will have a printing section which will deal with large poster printing. We are going to bring such reprographic equipment to assist them provide that public service which will end them revenue.
“We are bringing in water, we are bringing in electricity, providing all the utilities to ensure that the library really enjoys a prime of place. I am confident that we will definitely do a great job and Cross Riverians will be proud that they have a library that is top class,” the governor said.
He further explained that the library will have e-learning and e-library services in line with global best practices even as he hoped that the renovation will be done before the annual Carnival Calabar and festivals begin in December.
He said that: “It is our intention to ensure that this library gets on board and fully in use by the close of November and at the very worst, second or third week of December, the library will be proper and fully in use.
“It is not just about the Carnival, but we want to also prove that we research and we study hard in Cross River State.”
On the cost, Ayade who disclosed that the library will serve students within the Calabar metropolis and its outskirts, also averred that: “It is inestimable at this point in time because it is a cascaded reaction. As you get into refurbishment, you never can know where it will actually be, it will be millions and millions of Naira. Definitely, I am sure it is not going to cost us less than a hundred million Naira as it stands.”
He was accompanied by the Chairman and directors in the State library board.
And, the chairman, Mr. Andrew Ita Bassey reiterated the State’s commitment, assured that the renovation works will be carried out properly.
“You will agree with me that the state of dilapidation knows no bounds, everything has collapsed. But, I am believing that before the end of the year, it is going to be an entirely different place,” Mr. Bassey said and maintained that the duration for the renovation is, “very very realistic, humanly possible. Where there is a will, there is a way. We will bounce back.”
Mrs. Emeh Awatt, the director of library services, said the timing was “perfect” and commended Governor Ayade for keeping to his promise.
“You will see something different from what you have seen now. I am so excited and grateful to his excellency. He did promise that he will renovate the library and he has being living up to expectations.
“I keep telling people that he is a man of his words. If he says he will do something, he will definitely do it no matter how long it takes. I am so delighted that today has come to pass, he has fulfilled his promise,” Awatt said, adding that: “Before the end of November, you will see something different from what we are seeing now, I believe him.”
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.