National library owes N126m staff allowance, 3-year rent —National Librarian

The National Library of Nigeria is currently owing over N126 million debt, being outstanding staff claims for six years.

It said that paucity of funds for overhead cost resulted in the failure to offset the claims since 2010.

Apart from that, the library was yet to pay three years rent on its temporary corporate headquarters building in Abuja, prompting the landlord to threaten ejecting the organisation.

This is despite the fact that the corporate headquarters is currently in a deplorable state, with leaking roof, cracked walls as well as malfunctioning toilets and broken water pipes.

National Librarian/Chief Executive Officer of the establishment, Professor Olatokunbo Aina, while exchanging views with Senate Committee on Education (Basic and Secondary) led by its chairman, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, in his office in Abuja, confirmed this and said that N68, 794, 730.00 was outstanding payment for outsourced staff from April, 2015 to August, 2016.

He urged the committee to intervene to enhance smooth operations of the agency as the non-release of funds has had adverse effect on the establishment.

According to him, the organisation is facing challenges which militate against effective library and information services delivery to the public.

Professor Aina urged the Federal Government to direct government agencies to deposit all their publications with the National Library, and assured that the library would partner with the National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and other agencies to ensure that publications emanating from all the tertiary institutions in the country were deposited with the National Library.

Speaking, Chairman of the committee, Senator Wamakko, said the members were at the library headquarters to know the challenges and constraints facing the organisation with a view to providing permanent solutions to them.