January 11, 2016 – National Library Of Nigeria ISSN/ISBN Office: The Haven For Corruption And Pity
Corruption is both a major cause and a result of poverty, lean development and stunted growth around the world. It occurs at all levels of society, from local and national government, civil society, judiciary functions, large and small businesses, military and other services and so on.
This monster affects the poorest the most, in rich or poor nations through all elements of society are affected in some way as corruption undermines political development, democracy, economic development, the environment, people’s health and more.
Around the world, the perception of corruption in public places is very high. Corruption not only has become a pervasive aspects, but have become the tool for opportunity for using public resources for private benefit. This is the case with National Library of Nigeria with regards to funds generated from the issuance of International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) to authors/publishers.
It should be noted here that on daily basis nothing less than two hundred (200) numbers of ISBN/ISSN are issued to authors, publishers, etc. nationwide, and the prices range from 3,500, 5000 and 10000 naira respectively per number issued.
Prior to the TSA regime, hundreds of millions of naira were generated as revenue in the past four years and never remitted to government coffers. Thus the funds are unaccounted for. The process is that when numbers are issued, publishers or authors either pay cash or into a designated bank account. Now with the introduction of TSA publishers and the likes are made to pay cash only at the point of issuance and not into TSA.
There are pertinent questions the National library needs to answers:
- Before the advent of Treasury Single Account (TSA) which account is the ISSN and ISBN funds remitted to?
- With the advent of TSA, why are funds not remitted into TSA
- How has the institution been spending the funds and on what are such funds spent going by the hundreds of million generated?
- Why are authors/publishers requested or mandated to pay cash at the point of issuance?
- With all these funds why the lack of basic facilities in ISSN/ISBN office?
A visit to ISSN/ISBN office at the headquarters and state branches proved that the offices are in a despicable and pitiful state despite the huge sums generated as revenue. The office have become a sorry sight to behold.
Our concern is that Nigeria’s Apex Library is in a state of comatose. Things have simply gone from bad to worse.
Let the wind of change visit this decaying institution to redeem our national image. Enough is enough, long live Nigeria!
[Article By Shola Adebayo]