By Chuwang Dung
College Librarian of the Federal College of Education (Tech.), Gombe, Mallam Dahiru Aliyu, has called on Gombe State Government to launch a campaign towards reviving reading culture among students in the state.
He said studies have shown that the people of Gombe, especially the young ones have a poor reading culture which perhaps explains the below average performance in almost whatever they do.
According to the College Librarian who puts the literacy level in Gombe State at 39.3 per cent, he said “the literacy population is one of the lowest in the world and also among the backward nations of Africa despite the fact that there are enormous resources to finance and train almost everybody to be literate”.
The FCE College Librarian who presented a paper during the 2017 Readership Promotion Campaign held at the Federal Library Gombe said until the causes of illiteracy are addressed in the country, fashioning out strategies for building a virile reading nation will remain a mirage.
He advised Government to muster the political will to undertake a survey to look at reasons behind the failures of the previous attempts and devise ways of making it a success.
He also among others, advised that Government should provide public library services to major towns and cities in the country adding that where it is not possible especially in the interior villages, mobile library services should be provided so as to enable all citizens have access to relevant information.
Speaking earlier, the National Librarian/Chief Executive Officer, Professor Lanre Aina who was represented by the Deputy Director, Public Service Department, Alhaji Nagya Minin regretted that reading culture in Nigeria is poor and that the benefits of good reading culture in any country cannot be over emphasized given the fact that reading enriches the knowledge to full participation in modern society.
He said the objectives of the National Readership Promotion Campaign was to encourage reading among Nigerians, promote the increase of reading materials and identify obstacles which inhibits reading and ways to eliminating them.