The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, has called on private and public institutions to leverage Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to digitise their hard copy knowledge materials to make them more efficiently accessible to their workforce and external stakeholders.
Danbatta made the call recently when the Commission joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 2021 Library Day with the theme: "Welcome to Your Library.” Speaking at the event, held at the NCC Head Office in Abuja, the EVC expressed dismay at the dwindling book-reading culture in Nigeria, calling for a positive change of attitude in the nations’ reading culture.
He said while ICT has helped in digitizing a large number of hitherto hard-copy books available to people, efforts must be made to access these materials as well as other hard-copy books to read. He said this has become central because the knowledge economy being driven by ICT requires reading and intellectual development for further advancement.
Danbatta underscored the importance of the library as a great resource with a variety of stocks reflecting the multi-functional structure of the Commission, the significance of which cannot be over-emphasized in the activities of the Commission as well in a knowledge economy.
“As a regulator of a dynamic telecommunications industry, the Commission gives pride of place to library resources to ensure that it is abreast of current information, regulatory trends, and international best practice in carrying out its mandate,” Danbatta said.
The EVC further noted that it is the first ‘Library Day’ celebration holding since the establishment of the Commission’s library in 2003, noting that as an administrator and a Professor with many years of experience in academia, he fully appreciates the role of a modern library in enabling research and new knowledge for organisational success.
He added that the NCC's library was established to provide the necessary literature and knowledge materials to facilitate access to learning and dissemination of information.
“The NCC library is 18 years now and it is a cutting-edge repository of knowledge and information with over 1,000 technical books in hard and soft copies aside from other materials serving both internal and external stakeholders.”
“It is a reflection of who we are, where we are and the library stock is an indication of the diverse areas of specialisation, expertise, and operations of the Commission,” the EVC said.
While pointing out that various efforts have been made, over the years, to reposition the library to meet international standard, Danbatta noted that remarkable improvements have been made in uplifting the standard of the library not only in stocking it with the latest useful books but also in terms of automation for easier accessibility.
“The NCC has leveraged the power of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to provide the electronic section to enhance the library information system by migrating from analogue to digital, thereby enabling access to remote databases electronically. It is a learning resource that has varieties, currency, quality, and content of stock,” he added.
He emphasised the need to reinvigorate the passion for learning, which he said, will lead to new and better ways of doing things as well as better collaborations in carrying out assigned responsibilities. Danbatta noted that the library is critical to realising his dream of sustaining the culture of the Nigerian Communications Commission as a respected learning organisation with best-in-class employees.
The Library Day celebration promotes the idea that libraries extend far beyond the four walls of a building and that everyone is welcome to use their services.
At the event, goodwill messages were received from the President, Nigerian Library Association (NLA), Prof. Innocent Isa Ekoja, represented by the NLA's National Secretary, Omoh Atesenokhai, and a representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Isaac Olubisi Ajibola.
The NLA is the national association of library and information professionals and the recognised group for librarians working in both private and public sectors in Nigeria.