The government also wants to build new branches of the library in more states.
The Nigerian government has proposed N50 billion for the completion of National Library headquarters in Abuja, 13 years after the project was first conceived.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, disclosed this on Friday at the seventh edition of the Weekend Ministerial Press Briefing in Abuja.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Senate in October 2017 called on the government to prioritise the completion of the permanent site of the National Library in order to mitigate losses on the project, describing its delay as a national embarrassment.
The Senate also frowned at the fact that 57 years after independence and with trillions of naira sunk into the development of Abuja, the National Library still operates from a rented building because it does not have a permanent site.
The present national library headquarters is in a sorry state, as it is challenged by dilapidated facilities, outdated books and other anomalies.
Mr Adamu said the National Library project-cost was N8 billion when it was first awarded in 2006 and was last reviewed upwards to N18 billion in 2013.
“You may have been aware that the project cost was awarded in 2006 at a total cost of N8 billion By 2013, the project cost was reviewed upward to N18 billion. Work was, however, stopped at the end of 2013 due to poor-funding,” the minister said.
”When this administration come into power, the contractor submitted a new bill of N78 billion to complete the project and we set up a committee to evaluate the project. This committee has submitted a bill of N50 billion,” he said.
According to the minister, the National Library of Nigeria (NLN) is expanding its branches across the country as well as rehabilitating existing ones.
”Contracts for the renovation of the Lagos, Nasarawa, Benue, Imo, Adamawa and Plateau have been awarded while other will come on stream next year,” he said.
Mr Adamu said the renovation goes beyond replacing leaking roofs and painting walls but will involve providing reading spaces for children to promote a sound reading culture among school pupils.
”New branches are to be established in Delta, Anambra, Ekiti, Kebbi, Kogi and Jigawa state. We have completed permanent branch buildings in Gombe and Kaduna states, ”he said.
Mr Adamu said the government is in the process of providing free internet access for our library users beginning with Lagos, Abuja and Enugu branches.
”We have requested Galaxy Backbone to increase our Internet bandwidth in these branches and the process is ongoing. We are also working with state governments and other relevant stakeholders to develop a public library policy for the country. A National Conference in this regard will come up between March 18-29 this year,” he said.
Speaking on mid-term break for school pupils, Mr Adamu said there is no plan by the Nigerian government to close both private and public schools ahead of the elections.
Mr Adamu also announced that February 15 to 19 is the mid-term break for students of all the 104 unity schools across the country.
“Our students in unity schools are not of voting age, but we adjusted the mid-term break to make it fall within the elections period,” he said .
Also speaking, the Chief Librarian, Lenrie Aina, said it is essential for all schools to have a library in adherence to the policy of the National Council of Education.
”There are about 6000 libraries in Nigeria, although we just awarded a contract on Library directory so that we can have the data of the numbers of libraries, types of libraries and schools with libraries in the country,” he said.
Mr Aina said the national library charge for International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is N3000 for a book
ISBN is a number that serves as a means of identification for a particular book for the purpose of commerce and supply.
It is a unique international number and which means no two books have identical ISBN.
ISBN is made of 13 digits, divided into five parts using either hyphen or spaces with the first three representing the international code followed by the next three digits which serve as country identifier, then the next three goes for the publisher identifier and the next three stands for title identifier.
The last digit is the check digit.
Guidelines and Requirements for the Assignment of ISBN
A formal Letter of application for assignment of an ISBN made on the letter head paper of the Publisher/Author or Institution, and addressed to The Director (NBCD), National Library of Nigeria Headquarters, ISBN office, Abuja or processed through any of the State Branch offices.
A photocopy of Certificate of Registration (in the case of private companies) obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) OR a National Identity card OR valid Driver’s License for author publisher, should be attached for identification.
Visual proof of the existence of the publication(s) should be shown. The publisher/Author must produce type-set copy(s) of the manuscript(s), or at least the preliminary pages of the publication(s) i.e preface, introduction, forward, content table, title page, verso, etc.
Request for a block of ten (10) ISBN should present visual proofs of at least Seven (7) manuscripts or the preliminary pages of the work to be published.
Evidence of full utilization of ISBN(s) earlier assigned in form of letter(s) of acknowledgement of receipt from National Library of Nigeria of having deposited the required number of copies of their previous publications to the National Library as required by Law i.e. Private Publisher’s -three (3) copies; State Governments and their Agencies-ten (10) copies, and Federal Government and their Agencies- twenty five (25) copies.