…Hints Of Plans To Diversity Into Water Production, Agriculture & Pharmaceuticals
By Mfonobong Ukpong
As it’s own contribution to the promotion of reading culture, scholarship and literacy in the society and as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, a hospitality outfit in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, Watbridge Hotels and Suites located at IBB Avenue, has unveiled a state- of- the-art Library within the hotel promises.
The library, complete with a reading area, cyber cafe and a tea area is named after the great African Writer and academic, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. According to the management of the hotel, the library which is another testament to the cutting edge innovations in the hospitality outfit is open both to those lodging in the hotel, members of the public.
Performing the inauguration, the Special Guest and Executive Director, International Press Centre, Lagos-Nigeria, Lanre Arogundade, commended the Advisor of the hotel and the management for the foresight and for mooting the idea and also seeing to the actual take off of the library project. Arogundade who acknowledged the role of education in the development of any society, expressed hope that the library would serve as resource centre for the acquisition of knowledge.
“This is a very special occasion to have distinguish Nigerians who believes in knowledge. As we all know, education is the key to human development and growth of the nation. I really thank and congratulate the management of this hotel for this foresight”.
Addressing the gathering, Chairman and CEO of the hotel, Elder Udo Sampson Akpan and elder brother to Barr. Ekong Sampson described the library as a product of a vision that seeks to promote literacy in the society.
Also Speaking, an Advisor to the hotel, Barr. Ekong Sampson flanked by his Wife, described the facility as an innovation that seeks to promote reading culture in the society. In his remarks, the General Manager of the hotel, Otunba Sunday Ajayi described the library facility as a bold testimony of the hotel’s commitment to widening of it’s scope of hospitality.
“Today, this beautiful edifice facilitily will be opened to the public in furtherance of our vision to not only provide luxury and class, but cement the hotel’s reputation as truly a home away from home. The library will also add to our impressive employment ranks as more young Akwa Ibomites and Nigerians will be gainfully employed”.
The General Manager hinted that the addition of a library to the hospitality outfit comes as part of the hotel’s diversification drive, adding that plans are at advanced stages to also add a pharmacy, Water production facility and a farm to the Watbridge Group.
A former Chief Press Secretary to former Governor Victor Attah and a Senior Mass Communication Lecturer at Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, who also double as President of Uyo Book Club, Dr. Udeme Nana, said the addition of a library has turned the hotel into a holistic hospitality facility. Goodwill messages were also received from the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Idongesit Etiebet represented by Dr. Glory Emah Ekpo. Others who spoke glowingly about the facility include, Dr. Martins Akpan, Chairman of Mkpat-Enin represented by his Vice-chairman, Lady Mercy Bassey.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, a Kenyan and academic. who writes primarily in Gikuyu. His work includes novels, plays, short stories, and essays, ranging from literary and social criticism to children’s literature. He is the founder and editor of the Gikuyu-language journal Mũtĩiri.