09 November 2016, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – To enhance access to knowledge and education in Rivers State and the Niger Delta region, the Shell Petroleum and Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, has commissioned and donated a $5million ultra-modern library to the Port Harcourt Literary Society, PHLS.
Managing Director of SPDC and country chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, SCiN, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, said the completed library project by SPDC will provide unfettered access to knowledge for all members of the public.
Okunbor explained that the project was one of SCiN’s social investments and one of its three N2 billion projects the company is sponsoring to mark Nigeria’s centenary anniversary in the Niger Delta region.
He reiterated that in order to ensure that the project is sustainable, the library will be managed by the PHLS and will be a component of the Book Centre that will serve as the hub of activities that will promote access to information and economic growth through education in general and literary arts in particular.
According to him, “SPDC has exclusively funded this library project because of its strong conviction that it will deliver significant benefits and positively impact the lives of people.
“The journey to the delivery of the library was implemented using a Memorandum of Understanding with the Port Harcourt Library Society and our objective was to deliver an ultra-modern public library that would rank as one of the biggest and most IT-driven in the Niger Delta. Without sounding immodest, our objective has been achieved.
“Apart from the $5 million exclusively provided by SPDC to complete this project, we are also providing additional staff time post-inauguration for effective take-off of operations in the library. Our staff have further committed to donating books to support the library. This makes me so proud; knowing we have good hearted staff committed to giving back by supporting this project in their individual capacities.”
For her part, Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, commended SPDC for their unwavering support of the state government’s desire to provide a more realistic, sustainable and affordable educational system for the people.
Banigo, represented by her senior special assistant, Barr. Gogo Fubara, harped on the need for the library to be operated in line with international best practices, stressing that the huge investment in the facility should not be allowed to be a wasteful venture.
Also speaking, Chairman, Board of trustees of the Port Harcourt Literary Society, Dr. Chidi Amuta, said the library is part of the Port Harcourt Book Centre, which was conceived to commemorate the recognition of Port Harcourt by UNESCO as the 2014 World Book Capital.