A group has said that nurturing intellectual capacity among teenagers and young adults cannot be achieved with good investment in libraries across the country.
The group, Advocacy for Positive Behavioural Patterns Initiatives said that Nigeria’s growth depends on the intellectual growth of the younger population and so there has to be great investment in that area.
“When we survey the Nigerian landscape, a glaring disparity emerges – while religious centers thrive, accessible libraries remain a rarity”
“This stark incongruity compels us to issue a resounding call to action: the government must invest in constructing libraries in all area councils. Libraries have the potential to become sanctuaries of knowledge and beacons of hope for the youth of Nigeria”, part of a press release signed by the Executive Director, Ayo Olutekunbi.
Olutekunbi added that the profound impact that peers have on young people’s decisions, and the allure of negative influences can steer them away from intellectual growth and personal development.
He said that youths have been left vulnerable because of the absence of places for constructive engagement and self-improvement. He added that despite providing spiritual guidance, religious organizations which often get all the attention do not have what it takes to intellectually stimulate and shape well-rounded individuals.
“Libraries are not mere repositories of books; they possess the power to transform lives. They provide a quiet space for reflection, research, and learning.”
“By offering free access to an extensive collection of books, magazines, academic journals, and digital resources, libraries ignite curiosity, nurture critical thinking, and empower the youth to explore new horizons. They are inclusive spaces that foster diversity, inclusivity, and social cohesion.”
The organization called for libraries to be built in all Local Governments to ensure equitable access to education and knowledge.
“By spreading libraries across the nation, we guarantee that even the most remote and underserved communities can access the wealth of knowledge libraries offer. This initiative bridges the urban-rural gap, ensuring an equal platform for intellectual growth for all Nigerian youths”, he added.
The Advocacy for Positive Behavioral Patterns Initiatives believes that libraries can serve as centers for skill development, research, and community engagement and should the government invest in libraries, it will create a ripple effect that will positively impact the future of Nigeria.
Ayo Olutekunbi in the press release stated that investing in the intellectual development of youths equates to an investment in Nigeria’s future since they make up a large portion of the population.
In a nation where the youth constitute a significant portion of the population, investing in their intellectual development equates to an investment in Nigeria’s future.
He said that libraries can be the catalyst for change, by empowering the youth to explore, innovate, and shape a brighter future for the country, calling on the government at all levels to take the investment seriously.