Outsourcing for effective resource management in Nigerian university libraries.

Author:Ugah, Akobundu Dike


In the late 2008 and early 2009, the people of Nigeria and its government officials came to term with the reality of global economic meltdown and its inevitable implications for the nation's economy. Global economic problems have brought down the price of crude oil, the mainstay of the nation's economy, and have led to the depreciation of the Nigerian currency, the naira, against the US dollar. All these have taken their toll on spending pattern in the ministries, departments, and agencies, who are now adopting belt-tightening measures in order to survive within the limited available resources.

Gross federally collectible revenue for 2009 was put at 5.13 trillion naira, while in 2008, it was 5.87 trillion naira. The average budget price of crude oil was $45 per barrel (pb). It was $59 for 2008. The daily forecast production was 2.292 million barrels per day (mbpd) as against 2.45 mbpd for 2008. The daily oil production and price estimate are lower in the current year. This in essence means that the revenue from gas and oil would be reduced by 1.79 trillion naira, which is 61 per cent. From December 2008 to date, the Nigerian naira has devalued against the US dollar by 36 percent (Omoigui-Okauru, 2009).The future is still gloomy.

As a result, Nigerian federally funded universities have been faced with shrinking financial resources allocated to them by the government, coupled with the need to increase and expand facilities in response to increasing enrolment, the introduction of new courses, and increases in faculty and other administrative, technical, and support staff. There is also the need to improve the quality of service delivery by the university libraries. The dwindling resources of the universities also affect the university libraries. In efforts to cut costs, improve general efficiency, and meet increasing demands for accountability, one option being considered is the outsourcing of some services.

Outsourcing is a controversial issue with redundancy implications for library staff. Outsourcing is a frequently misused and misunderstood term and some disagreement can be traced to different definitions (Appleby, 2000). Lund (1997) used "outsourcing" to mean that someone who is not on the university payroll manages the whole or part of a university library function, employing their own staff and assets. Outsourcing describes how services are obtained. Although the term and its practice have been more prevalent in business...

To continue reading