1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Finance is sometimes misinterpreted as money, but this is not really what it means. The two are always used in place of the other. For example, it is common for people to use “lack of finance” when in actual sense it means “lack of money”. Money on its own means anything generally acceptable as a means of exchange by people of a particular country. Finance means more than this as it is any capital which is an important factor of production. As a factor of production, capital is used to acquire other productive resources such as land, machinery, equipment and labor. Finance holds the key to all activities. It guides, regulates investment decisions and expenditure. Financial management therefore has to do with judicious use and distribution of available fund to achieve an organizational goal. Without finance the organizing cycle of management could hardly take place. Anafulu (2002:11) is of the opinion that fund is essential in any organization for hiring of personnel, for procurement of raw materials and maintenance of plant and other facilities. Finance is inadequate, then efficiency is bound to be adversely affected as finance underpins all activities. Since finance is at the heart of any enterprise. It follows that financial management must occupy the attention of all serious managers. Like any other resource, finance is limited and scarce. Even where the finance is abundant, an organization that applies it very well achieves its objectives, because every activity has a cost. Financial management is an integral aspect of planning, organizing and control. In organizations, financial management is important because of the need for accountability to the owners or investors. Financial management operates at three levels;
- Income generating and investment.
- Management of assets ; and
- Income generating and investment: The income has to do with the money coming in through available resources while the investment is the actual project for which the money is being realized. The investment can be on purchase of materials, payment of salaries, building of more structures, maintenance and procurement of their facilities.
- Management of assets: The most important aspect of any organization is the management of the assets; this also involves hiring of qualified staff and managing of materials and other facilities.
- Budgeting: Webster’s New collegiate dictionary (1977) states that “ Budget is a statement of the financial position of an administration for a definite period of time based on estimates of expenditures during the period, and proposals for financing them.” It is also seen as the amount of money that is available or assigned for a particular purpose. It is generally seen as a plan for the coordination of resources and expenditures. Anafulu (2002.120) shares the view that budget is a principal tool of management, because it is a master financial plan as well as control measure. It takes into account the external factors beyond the control of management, such as the state of the economy and internal factors within the control of management, such application of personnel rationalization and other cost cutting measures.
1.2 BACKGROUND STUDY OF THE IMO STATE LIBRARY BOARD
Within the creation of more states in Nigeria on 3rd February 1976, two more states were carved out of the former east central state. The state became Anambra and Imo states respectively. In consequence, the east central state library was split into its constituent Anambra and Imo state libraries. In this regard, Enugu retained the capital of Anambra state Owerri became the new capital of Imo state. The Imo state library however continued its operation from Enugu until September 1976 when the indigenous Imo staffs in Enugu were transferred to Owerri. The divisional library building in Owerri initiated by the east central state library board was thought to be more suitable for use as the nucleus of Imo state central library.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The public library is a library for the general public. This means that everybody has the right to use the public library. The young, the old, the literate and non- literate, no wonder it is regarded as the peoples “university.” The public library should house materials and provide library services that will interest all these groups, but unfortunately, they have not been meeting this obligation. Ukaegbu (1998) and Onwuama (2003) who carried out the studies in public libraries is that of finance. The researcher therefore wants to find out if this condition is as a result of non-funding of public libraries or the mismanagement of available funds. To add to this, no outstanding research has been conducted in this area. This research work is embarked upon to fill the gap created by lack of literature or financial management in public libraries.
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are objectives of the study.
- To determine the sources of the finances of Imo state library board Owerri.
- To find out if the Imo state public library is adequately funded.
- To ascertain who manages the financial resources of Imo state library board Owerri.
- To find out who controls the finances of the Imo public library.
- To determine how the available resources are managed in relation to achieving the objectives of the Imo state library board Owerri.
- To ascertain whether the accounting officers are qualified and competent to manage the finances of the public library under study.
- To know the problems encountered in managing the finances of Imo state library board Owerri.
- To know what could be the solution to these problems.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the sources of finance in Imo state library board? The state government is the major source of finance through its monthly subvention.
- Is the Imo state library board adequately funded? Imo state public library is not adequately funded.
- Who manages the financial resources of the library? The director of library services manages the financial resources of Imo state library board Owerri.
- Who controls the finances of the Imo state library board?
- How is the available resources utilized in relation to achieving the objectives of the public library? The available resources are not adequately utilized in relation to achieving the objectives of the library.
- Are the accounting officers qualified and competent to manage the resources of Imo state public library? The Imo state public library has qualified accounting personnel.
- What are the problems encountered in managing the finances of Imo state public library? Poor funding, lack of computers, Lack of accounting materials and mismanagement of fund are the problems encountered in managing the finances of Imo state public library.
What are the solutions to these problems?
- There should be improved funding by the state government and the library should have ways of alternative funding.
- Provision of accounting material should be made.
- The accounting staff should be sent to seminars and workshops.
- There should be provision of computers.
- The director should be trained in accounting skills.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to Imo state library board. It focuses on the financial management of Imo state public library. Administrative factors such as finance, staffing, accommodation and stock, which can be affected by the financial condition of the establishment are also studied.
1.7 ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY
These assumptions are made to help guide this study. As the topic of this research work sounds, these assumptions are relevant. They are;
- The Imo state library board needs to be funded adequately by the state government.
- The Director of the library services should manage the available resources of the state’s public library very well.
- The accounting officers should attend seminars and workshops to enable them perform their duties effectively.
1.8 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The public library as a poor man’s university is the intellectual powerhouse of the community. This being the case, the public library has to be well managed financially to meet its obligation as the enlightener of the masses. The study will help the government to know that it is important to fund public libraries to serve their clientele better. It will also help the managers of the public library improve on the financial management of their establishments. The study will as well add to the body of literature in public library management.
1.9 DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
- FINANCE: IT is money or other liquid resources of a government, business, group or individual that helps to achieve organizational goals.
- FUNDING: It is the process of making provision for resources in discharging some duties, i.e. sponsoring or supporting a Programme financially.
- FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT: This has to do with the judicious utilization of the available resources to achieve the stated objectives of an organization.
- CAPITAL EXPENDITURE: When expenditure runs more than 50% of the monthly allocation, such expenditure includes: Building a new block, procurement of vehicle, book and other materials, it is referre to as capital expenditure.
- RE-CURRENT EXPENDITURE: It also includes payment of staff salaries and other allowances and day to day running of office duties, which also means short term budgets.