By Abayomi Adeshida
Members of Staff and the general public have been advised to stay off the entire premises of the National Library of Nigeria, Garki, Abuja due to a fumigation exercise to decontaminate and disinfect the public facility to prevent the possibility of the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus in the place.
Vanguard sighted some sanitation officers within the premises of the Library over the weekend as they carried out the fumigation inside and around the one storey building adjacent to the popular Area 2 shopping Centre, Garki, Abuja.
Among the officials that carried out the fumigation was the Assistant Head of Branch, Public Library Department, FCT Branch of the National Library of Nigeria, Prince Akinlolu Ajani who hinted that the facility shall be shut down for one week before normal services shall resume.
According to him, “Office of the National Library of Nigeria shall remain closed during the week of Monday, 6th July 2020.
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“This closure is to protect staff as well as visitors from any harmful effect that could arise from the fumigation/decontamination that was done within the office premises.
“Relying on an earlier approval that we got from the Federal Ministry of Education to carry out the fumigation, I can confirm to you that this closure shall last only for one week.
“The office shall reopen from Monday, 13th July 2020 and operations shall be in accordance with extant circulars from the government and protective guidelines from health authorities, especially the National Centre for Disease Control that is currently supervising the ways to mitigate the ongoing community spread of the deadly COVID-19 in the country,” the Assistant Head of Branch stated.
When asked if the fumigation was done because of any case of COVID-19 infection or death among the staff or any member of the public that came to use the facility, Prince Ajani disclosed that the management was only being proactive and taking preventive measures to avoid any ugly incidence in the facility.
In his words, “if you are following the trend, the COVID-19 pandemic will spread fast through community transmission if preventive measures are not taken and we are not leaving anything to chance, hence the fumigation of the entire premises as you just witnessed what we did.
“The essence of the fumigation is to decontaminate the entire library building, available Information resources, every inch of the rooms on both floors as well as everywhere outside the building with the appropriate chemicals.
“We do hope that the public who rely on us daily for the use of our services would bear with us and understand that we had to do this for the good of society.
“Our normal services shall resume within one week all things being equal and we hope to render our services even better than we used to do,” he promised.
Established under Decree 29 of 1970, the National Library of Nigeria has been mandated to render consultancy services, render reference and information services as well as subpoena services to the general public.
Other services include exhibitions and displays on topical national and educational issues, indexing and abstracting of; local publications; a collection of legal deposit from publishers; stock-taking and weeding of library materials as well as liaising with the book industry on international publishing standards at State level among numerous other services.