The Kwara State Government says it will do everything within available resources to promote and encourage culture, tourism and hospitality industry.
The State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq made this known while speaking at the commissioning of Awiye Memorial Library and Museum donated by Pastor Olountele Alabi Dokun in Ijomu Oro, Irepodun Local Government Area of the state.
Represented by his Deputy, Kayode Alabi, the governor explained that the Library which is stocked with 40,000 valuable books to immortalise the legacies of the late Nathaniel Sangodokun is in consonance with the developmental efforts of his administration to rebuild Kwara State.
“On our part, we will do everything within available resources to ensure that Kwara reclaims its place in Nigeria. I have repeatedly said that our administration will promote our culture and encourage tourism and hospitality industry to grow,” he said.
The governor listed government’s efforts targeted at rebuilding education and schools across the state to include insistence on National Certificate in Education (NCE) as minimum teaching qualification in primary schools, ongoing renovation of the state library as well as construction and rehabilitation of some schools across the state.
Abdulrazaq disclosed plan to make a part of the state library innovation hub whereby tech-savvy young people can try their hands on new ideas to make their mark in the world of information communication technology.
The governor commended the effort of Dokun for his laudable contribution to the future of the state and expressed gratitude to the community, urging other well-to-do individuals to emulate the gesture.
“We cannot in good conscience neglect educational infrastructure and claim to be committed to a brighter future for our children. The Awiye Memorial Library and Museum is no doubt a laudable contribution to the future of our state and we are very grateful for this community effort. Specifically, this museum is a great initiative at a time every patriotic Nigerian or proud African should be concerned about the loss of our history, cultural traditions and value system to the rampaging western pop culture. We call on other well-heeled individuals to show similar concern for the future of our youths, cultural renaissance, and intellectual growth of our state,” he said.
“We are already walking our talk in this regard. I am glad to inform you that the Museum Road Esie is one of the 26 roads that have already been slated for construction. We are similarly taking other steps meant to open up our state for investments that would benefit everyone,” the governor further said.
The Minister of information and Culture, Lai Mohammed called for proper harnessing of Nigeria’s culture through proper orientation, financing and development of creative industry and infrastructure to boost economy and reduce poverty in the country.
The minister, who was represented by a director at the National Commission for Museum and Monument, Dauda Ja’afar, explained that there are many countries of the world that neither have natural solid resources nor liquid oil, yet their economies are doing well. He said that Nigeria with tourism and culture as well as abundant natural resources should not perform less.
Mohammed, therefore, called for preservation of Nigeria’s cultural heritage from going into extinction and for posterity to be able to connect the past with the present and project into the future, thereby tackling challenges like insecurity, unemployment, hate-speech, among others.
The Minister commended the donor, Dokun for contributing positively to the development of Ijomu Oro, Kwara State and Nigeria in general.
The brain behind the project, Dokun said the library and the museum are put in place to reawaken the reading culture among children as well as revive some of the fading cultural practices in the community.
He called on the Kwara State government to give education sector top priority for the state to experience monumental growth and development.
He reveals that the library has five thousand books shelved already, electronic library and a museum to promote the cultural heritage of the land.
The Oloro of Oro Kingdom, Oba Abdulrafiu Olaniyi Ajiboye Oyelaran 1, described library as the power house of knowledge and commended the initiative of the donor.
SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin