A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), known as the Advocacy for Positive Behavioral Patterns Initiative has urged the government to invest in the construction of libraries to boost intellectual capacity for youth development.
The Executive Director of the initiative, Ayo Olutekunbi, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
Olutekunbi said the imperative of nurturing intellectual capacity among teenagers and young adults could not be overstated especially in a nation with rich cultural heritage and burgeoning youth population like Nigeria.
“The youth embody Nigeria’s future and their intellectual growth is pivotal for the country’s advancement.
“Yet, when we survey the Nigerian landscape, a glaring disparity emerges, and 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,” he said.
Olutekunbi said libraries have the potential to become sanctuaries of knowledge and beacons of hope for the youth of the country.
He said that the youth grapple with a myriad of challenges, with peer influence standing out as one of the most formidable.
“We are acutely aware of 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,” Olutekunbi affirmed.
He said that the youth could be left vulnerable in the absence of places for constructive engagement and self-improvement.
Olutekunbi noted that religious centers offer spiritual guidance, but that they may not provide the intellectual stimulation and resources needed to shape well-rounded individuals.
He said that libraries are not mere repositories of books but they possess the power to transform lives.
He emphasized that libraries provide a quiet space for reflection, research and learning.
Olutekunbi said libraries also offered free access to an extensive collection of books, magazines, academic journals and digital resources.