The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) revolution has profound impact not only on the operation and services of Nigerian University Libraries, but also on the activities of AULNU over the years. One of the significant impact was the formation of the Nigerian University Libraries Consortium (NULIB Consults) in 2004. This is in line with the Association’s objective of “promoting library cooperation in the country generally and specifically among university librarians”. The genesis, aims and objectives as well as the constitution of the Consortium are therefore discussed in this Section.
The Genesis of the Consortium
The Constitution of NULIB Consults Nigeria Limited
Membership of NULIB Executive Committee from 2004 – 2022
In a letter addressed to all the Vic Chancellors of Nigerian Universities dated 21st October, 2004, the pioneer Chairperson of the Consortium and also former University Librarian of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor D. O. Bozimo clearly explained the genesis, rationale and justification for the formation of the Consortium as presented in the excerpt below.
Even at the best of times, it is axiomatic that no library, no matter how well endowed, can buy all the materials it needs for its clientele. With the serious under-funding of Nigerian universities, coupled with the spiraling costs of library materials, more than ever before, the need has arisen for university libraries to pull their resources together in order to maximize their procurement power so as to offer optimal services to their clientele at minimum cost.
One development that has impacted so much on the services libraries provide to their clientele is the digital revolution. A lot of library materials, especially journals and large reference materials, are now in digital format. One positive aspect of this development is that many users can access the same materials simultaneously. This has greatly increased a library’s capacity to meet the needs of its clientele.
From 2002 to 2004, Nigeria had been a beneficiary of a very generous donation of a country-wide license of the EBSCOHOST multi-disciplinary database from Mr. George Soros, an American philanthropist and founder/financier of the Open Society Initiative (OSI). This database holds over 6,000 academic journals that can be accessed either on-line or by CD/DVD to registered libraries. Many Nigerian universities have greatly enhanced their teaching, learning and research activities through this electronic database. Sadly, the free access to EBSCOHOST expired in December 2004 and Nigerian University Libraries must collectively address their minds to the future subscription to EBSCOHOST database.
In line with the best practices operated in the library and information profession, therefore, the Committee of University Librarians of Nigerian Universities (CULNU), at its meeting held at the ‘University of Ilorin in May 2004, brainstormed and took the giant step of forming a consortium named “The Nigerian University Libraries Consortium (NUL1B Consults, Nigeria Limited); it embraces all university libraries in Nigeria. The consortium will eventually be expanded to include all academic and research libraries in Nigeria.
The benefits of the Consortium include among others:
i. Strong purchasing power.
ii. Better negotiating power in the purchase of electronic databases.
iii. Cost effective exploitation of scholarly database for teaching, learning and research from the web.
iv. Joint grant seeking and lobbing.
v. Access to collective expertise and services.
vi. Ability to collaborate in the digitization of materials.
However, the Consortium is not without some cost implications. For instance, the subscription to EBSCOHost database from 2002 to 2004, during each of the 3-year period of OST’s funding, was $30,000.00. At the cost of $30,000.00, the entire Nigerian university system had access to over 6,000 academic journals and other information materials for 12 months. The Consortium contacted EBSCOHost and insisted on holding down to the subscription cost of $30,000.00 without the usual annual inflation rate. Journals have an inflation growth rate of about 15% – 18% per annum. That means that the subscription rate for the year 2005, for instance, would be in the neighborhood of $35,400.00. With the benefit of collective bargaining, the Consortium had insisted on, and also succeeded in, retaining the old price of $30,000.00 per annum for the two years of 2005 and 2006.
In the absence of laid down structures for collectively tasking university libraries for funding the subscription, the CULNU approached ETF (now TETFund) for those two years. Thereafter, University and their libraries would have to take on the cost. Members of the Consortium considered it important to sensitize Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian universities, the Executive Secretary of NUC and the Minister of Education to this trend in funding electronic resources world-wide so as to better appreciate the position that University Librarians would put forward shortly. However, it should be stated emphatically that electronic databases are meant to complement and not eliminate hard copies of journals, textbooks and monographs in university libraries.
The Nigerian University Libraries Consortium (NULIB CONSULTS NIG. LTD.), a non-profit consortium with the purpose of ensuring availability of library and information resources to the university community in particular and the Nigerian public in general, hereby enact the following constitution.
The name of the Consortium shall be the NIGERIAN UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES CONSORTIUM (NULIB CONSULTS NIG. LTD.)
2. Registration Office
The registered office of the Consortium shall be situated in Nigeria with a head office in any part as will be decided by the Consortium Governing Council from time to time.
3. Aim and Objectives of the Consortium
i. To promote information and resource sharing among members.
ii. To make the academic resources of each member library available to all the other libraries.
iii. To make current and relevant information available to the university community.
iv. To promote the digitization of local resources.
v. To seek sponsorship for specific projects.
vi. To ensure that member libraries contribute meaningfully towards sustaining the Consortium.
vii. To establish and maintain links with similar organizations and agencies worldwide.
viii. To work closely with its strategic partners in pursuit of these goals.
4. The Consortium administrative structure shall comprise:
The Consortium Council: This shall comprise:
Representative from participating institutions from whom the following shall be elected the:
- Consortium Chairman
- Consortium Vice-Chairman
- Consortium Treasurer
- Consortium Secretary
5. Articles of the Constitution
Part 1: Membership
Article 1. Eligibility
All University Libraries in Nigeria of Federal, State and Private ownership.
Article 2. Types of Membership
i. Full Membership
Federal, State and Private University Libraries shall be eligible to full membership of the Consortium.
ii. Affiliated Membership
Special, Research, Polytechnic and College of Education libraries in the country shall be affiliated members.
iii. Honorary Membership
Honorary membership shall be bestowed upon those partners in development, whether individuals or groups, within and outside Nigeria.
Article 3: Termination of Membership
i. Membership of the Consortium shall be terminated under the following circumstances:
A. Expulsion or resignation of a member subject to the provision made hereunder.
B. If a member’s interest in the Consortium declines, he may at the request of the Chairman, be expelled from the Consortium by extraordinary resolution of the Governing Council.
ii. A member of the Consortium shall be expelled on non-compliance with the regulations and rules governing the Consortium.
iii. Any member institution desirous of withdrawing from membership must communicate its intention to do so in writing to the Chairman, giving notice of at least half a year. If the same member wishes to be readmitted, a fresh application will be required.
iv. Where the member has ceased to be a member of the Consortium for whatever reason, the name shall be struck off the register of members and any subscription fees that may have been paid by the member shall be forfeited.
6. PART 11: Organizational Structure
Article 4. Functions of the Governing Council
The Governing Council, consisting of a professional librarian from each member institution, shall:
i. Form the supreme body of the Consortium
ii. Make final decisions on any matters pertaining to the Consortium
iii. Elect the Consortium Chairman, Deputy Consortium Chairman, Consortium Treasurer and Consortium Secretary
iv. Handle any matters that shall be presented to it both by the Governing Council and the Executive Committee
7. Functions and Powers of the Executive Committee
i. Oversee the Consortium activities.
ii. Formulate and review policies and regulations of the Consortium.
iii. Implement the decisions of the Governing Council.
iv. Pursue any other matters related to the Consortium on behalf of the Council.
v. Sign and certify legal documents of the Consortium on behalf of the Governing Council.
vi. Approve work plans, budgets and accounts of the Executive Committee and Standing Committees.
Article 5. The Duties of the Consortium Chairman
i. Chairs the Consortium meetings.
ii. Supervises the activities of the Consortium as approved by the Consortium Governing Council.
iii. Ensures that the Consortium is represented on related forums.
Article 6. The Duties of the Consortium Vice-Chairman
i. Deputizes for the Chairman in all respects.
ii. Performs all duties assigned to him/her by the Consortium Governing Council or the Consortium Chairman.
Article 7. The Duties of the Consortium Secretary
i. Shall be the custodian of the Consortium symbols, logos and records.
ii. Handles all Consortium correspondence.
iii. Shall, together with the Chairman, sign and certify such instruments of the Consortium that require certification and signature.
iv. Shall interpret, record and prepare proceedings of. the Consortium meetings.
v. Shall monitor implementation and performance of policies and programmes of the Consortium.
vi. Shall be responsible for Consortium properties.
vii. Shall be responsible for the management of the Consortium’s day-to-day business.
Article 8. The Duties of the Consortium Treasurer
i. Prepare the Consortium budget, financial reports, and accounts
ii. Presents proposed budget and financial reports to the Governing Council,
iii. Monitors implementation and performance of financial undertakings.
iv. Prepares books of accounts of the Consortium for auditing
v. Initiates and lobbies for Consortium funding
8. Standing Committees and Ad-hoc Committees
The composition of a Standing Committee of the Consortium shall be determined by the Governing Council. However, each Standing Committee shall be chaired and operated under the guidance of a member of the Executive Committee.
ii. Terms of Office
(a) Member of a Standing Committee of the Consortium shall serve for a two-year term and shall be eligible for a further term
(b) Members of an ad-hoc committee will serve for the duration of the specific assignment.
9. Part III: Procedure for Election to and Removal from Office
Article 9. Eligibility to elect and be elected
i. Any Professional Librarian from a fully paid up member institution shall be eligible to be elected to any office of the Consortium.
ii. All the members representing the full-member institution libraries of the Consortium shall be eligible to vote for office bearers of the Consortium.
Article 10. Election Procedures
i. The Executive Committee shall formulate election procedures, which shall be approved by the Governing Council, as the time and situation demand.
ii. All elections shall be carried out in the most democratic way, as stipulated in the by-laws. Each institution will be allowed one vote.
iii. The candidate with the highest number of votes shall be declared winner and legal occupant of the contested post of the Consortium.
iv. There shall be a returning officer who is presumed to be neutral and shall be appointed according to procedures established and agreed upon by the Sitting Assembly.
v. One-third of the registered member university libraries shall constitute a quorum for the Governing Council and conduct elections.
vi. A member of any of the member university libraries may be elected to any office in absentia if reasons for absence are known, and provided someone else can express his/her willingness to serve the Consortium.
vii. By-election to any office that falls vacant due to death or expulsion of a member shall be conducted in the same manner at a regular meeting.
Article 11. Tenure of Office
Terms of service to the Consortium shall be two years and an office bearer can renew his/her candidacy only once.
Article 11. Removal from Office
An office bearer may be removed from office for any or several of the following reasons:
ii. Breach of contract
iii. Abuse of office
iv. Incapacity; mental, physical, or otherwise
v. If the member ceases to be an employee of the member institution
vi. Scandalous conduct e.g., conviction for an offence involving moral turpitude.
Part IV: MEETING
Article 12. Schedule of Meeting
i. The Governing Council shall meet twice a year,
ii. The Executive Committee will also meet twice a year.
Article 13. Procedures for Meeting
i. The Executive Committee shall formulate election procedures as time and situation demand and certified by the assembly.
ii. In the case of any meeting, notice should be in writing.
iii. Any member of the Consortium wishing to move a resolution at the general assembly meeting shall be required to give a notice to the Consortium Executive Secretary 30 days before such a meeting is held,
iv. The conduct of business at any meeting of the Consortium shall follow a laid out agenda, discussed and adopted by the said meeting,
v. Meetings shall be conducted and recorded in the English language,
vi. Business at the meeting shall be conducted on the basis of motions moved and seconded by at least two persons,
vii. Chairman shall keep the order at the meeting and am speaker has to address the chairman.
viii. In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman shall preside over the meeting.
ix. At all the meetings, a simple majority shall determine resolutions by voting.
Part V: Finances, Accounting and Auditing
Article 14. Finance
The finances of the Consortium shall be raised in all ways permitted by the laws of Nigeria through subscriptions, donations, fundraising activities, auctions, profits gained from investments of money generating nature and any other means certified by the Consortium.
Institutions whose libraries are members shall be obliged to contribute to the Consortium. The amount for contribution shall be approved by the Governing Council, Each member shall contribute to the financial upkeep of the Consortium through:
A. A non-refundable membership fees, as shall be decided and approved by the Consortium Council from time to time.
B. Participation in fundraising activities.
C. Any other means devised by the General Assembly.
Article 15. Accounts
Accounts shall be opened for undertaking Consortium activities. The signature of the Chairman and any one of the following Executive Committee members shall be signatories to the accounts: Vice-Chairman, Treasurer or Secretary.
Article 16. Audit
i. The Consortium Council shall appoint an auditor to audit its account
ii. Any auditor so appointed shall have the right to access all records pertaining to the Consortium accounts for performance of his/her work.
iii. The Consortium financial year shall be 1st April to 31st March of each year.
Part VI: The Seal
Article 17. The Consortium Seal
i. The Consortium shall be a seal known as the Common Seal of the Consortium,
ii. The Common Seal shall be the official signature of the Consortium and shall be affixed on all official contracts entered into on behalf of the Consortium and all official documents.
Part VII: Miscellaneous
Article 18. Safe Custody of Consortium Property
i. The Seal, policy books, office papers, documents and correspondences shall be in direct control and custody of the Consortium Secretary.
ii. Books of account, bank and financial statement shall be in the custody of the Consortium Treasurer.
Article 19. Repeal and Amendment of the Consortium Constitution
The Constitution may be modified, revised or enlarged by a special resolution passed by 2/3 majority vote of the members present in person at the Consortium General Assembly provided a notice of such a meeting has been communicated in advance.
Article 20. Dissolution of the Consortium
i. The Consortium shall only be dissolved by a special resolution passed by 2/3 majority vote of the full member institutions at a meeting of the Consortium General Assembly provided that the meeting has been publicized in advance.
ii. No dividends, assets and other property of the Consortium shall be distributed to members of the Consortium upon its dissolution at that material time until settlement is done.
Article 21. Interpretation
Any matter arising from the interpretation of this Constitution or other rules, regulations and laws therein shall be referred to as Consortium Governing Council whose interpretation by simple majority decision shall be final.
Article 22. Assent of Consortium
The Consortium Constitution shall be in force as from when the
Consortium General Assembly endorses it on the _____day of the month of ________of the year________
2004 – 2010
Dr. A. Ochai
University of Jos
Prof. D. O. Bozimo
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Prof. B. H. Womboh
Federal University of Technology, Yola
Dr. S. A. Osiobe
Deputy Director, Library Services,
National Universities Commission, Abuja
Dr. S. A. Akintunde
University of Jos
Dr. B. A. Oladele
University of Ibadan
Dr. A. A. Ojedukun
Bowen University, Iwo.
Mrs. Mary Ellen Chijioke
University of Jos
2015 – 2020
Dr. Christopher Nkiko
Covenant University, Ota
Dr. S.A. Akintunde
University of Jos
Dr. Chinwe Anunobi
Federal University of Technology
Dr. Ezra S. Gbaje
Federal University, Lokoja
2020 – 2022
Dr. (Mrs.) Promise Ilo
University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Dr. Christopher Nkiko
Elizade University, Ilara Mokin
Mrs. Buchi Ekpomo
Africa University of Science and
Dr. Abiodun Iyoro
Federal University, Lafia