NASU decries neglect of libraries, seeks better funding of examination bodies
Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has decried the neglect of public libraries and the workforce in the sub-sector.
Rising from its regular meeting held in Asaba, Delta state, the Examination Bodies and Libraries Trade Group Council of NASU deliberated extensively on the issues affecting NASU members in West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), National Examination Council (NECO) and public libraries.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting, which was signed by the Deputy President and Chairman, Examination bodies and libraries Trade Group Council, Sunday Obabunmi and the Group’s Secretary, Emmanuel Amalu, the Council-in-Session expressed worry over the continuous neglect of public libraries in Nigeria.
It noted that most public libraries are in a deplorable state as a result of obsolete facilities, poor funding and under-staffing of facilities.
Council considered the role of a good library in the education of the Nigerian child as a long-term investment for the nation. It lamented the high level of attrition in the state libraries, which has resulted in the collapse of most of the state libraries and the gradual phasing out of state-owned libraries.
It called on the federal and state governments to prioritise the education of the citizenry by increasing the budgetary allocation to education to accommodate standard and adequately funded libraries, as well as complement Nigeria’s educational institutions, adding that the private sectors and well-meaning Nigerians should support the development of the country by investing in library services.
NASU also decried the increasing rate of examination malpractice, inadequate staff strength, high cost of transportation and insufficient examination and supervision allowance occasioned by a high inflation index.
It, however, noted that the problems facing the examination bodies could be resolved by increasing the funding of the bodies.
The council called on the Federal Government and other relevant authorities to review upwardly, the financial allocation to the examination bodies, which include WAEC, NECO, NABTEB and JAMB to provide for the recruitment of more staff, improve conditions of service, procure more facilities required for standard examination, and better examination supervision.
It observed with dismay, the non-existence of constituted and functional board members in most of the state-owned libraries.
It noted that the idea of a functional board for libraries is to liaise with the government in providing library services, facilities and improved working conditions in the libraries as contained in the edicts establishing all the state library boards.
NASU equally reflected the effect of good library services on the education of a Nigerian child and considered the cost of maintaining a functional board as a long-term investment in the country’s manpower development.
The union observed with total dismay, the persistent cases of transfer of union executives in examination bodies and redeployments from library boards to other ministries, which their managements claimed to be due to exigency of duty, but could be traced to the role they played in the course of performing their union duties.
It condemned the anti-union policy of such management and viewed it as a ploy toward destabilising the activities of the union.
The Council, therefore, called on the managements of the examination bodies and libraries to desist from such punitive transfers and cancel such where it exists to avoid industrial disharmony.