Report: Does your state have more Prisons than Libraries?


EducationPolitics and Policy

At least 16 of the 36 states in Nigeria have more prisons than public libraries, a report says.

According to statistics curated by Wale Micaiah, one of the leading individuals in the stat-tech (pardon the invention) and data analysis space in Nigeria, it appears a reasonable proportion of Nigerian states have been running on a deficit of institutional priority for quite a while.

The data, posted online as infographics, have generated both thrills for the depth of their revelations, but also chills for the sheer monstrosity that there is more done to ‘capture’ than to ‘catch young’.

Adamawa, Bauchi and Taraba states, from the infographics, have the highest deficits of libraries to prisons, as Ondo, Ogun, Cross-Rivers and Niger states also report a greater number of prisons than libraries.

On the flip side are those who seem to have run well so far. Delta, Edo, Kano and Katsina score very highly, each having at least 10 more public libraries than prisons. States like Rivers, Ekiti and Bayelsa are just at the threshold of balance, which is not exactly good news.

Without implying too much, there is some  correlation between the number of libraries in a state and level of literacy; at least, performance results in WAEC over the last couple of years would seem to show that. In the 2016 results, Abia, Anambra and Edo were graded as the best performing; Mr Micaiah’s graphics tell us these states have at least 10 public libraries each, with Abia and Edo having over 10 more libraries than prisons.

Conversely, the WAEC performance reports showed that Bauchi, Zamfara, Kebbi and Sokoto have been regular at the rear of the queue. Again, Mr Micaiah’s infographics seem to show this, with the deficit of libraries.

Meanwhile, in another report, on the State of Public Libraries in Nigeria By Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria, there are also some damning facts relating to staff and stock of materials in Nigerian Libraries. The LRCN report indicates that, for the 316 public libraries, there are only 510 certified Librarians, which amount to an average of 14 per state. Also from the report, there are just above 21 million print resources in our public libraries nationwide and about 26,000 e-resources.

Hopefully, the responsible authorities, especially of the library-deficient states do not consider this to be just another “defamatory, malicious invention of mischief makers trying to discredit the..” blah blah blah. It is good that they now know precisely what to do. That’s the advantage of research – for action, whether pro-active, or in this case, corrective.

Stats don’t lie. When you see a truly amazing, revealing set of numbers about a crucial aspect of society – namely education – you share. Appreciations to Wale Micaiah and the LRCN for the work on these data.

These stats are a perfect excuse to share this wonderful tweet:

More books in Libraries, Less ‘crooks’ in Prisons; makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

Follow us on twitter for the insightful reports, commentaries and ideas @inquizimedia

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