The Nigerian government says it will prioritize the patronage of indigenous printers and publishers of educational materials over their foreign counter parts, to prevent the printing and publishing Industry from going moribund.
This was made known by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, when a delegation from Academy Press Plc, an indigenous printer and publisher of educational and examination materials paid him a working visit.
The Minister said the decision was necessitated by the need to support indigenous printers and publishers in line with the present Administration’s policy of local content usage.
Mallam Adamu further stated the resolve of government to make the industry more conducive for practitioners by evolving policies.
According to the minister, “since government was aware of the industry’s huge job creation potentials, it behooves on us to make it more viable.”
In his remarks, Chairman of Academy Press Plc and leader of the delegation, Mr. Wahab Dabiri, called on the Federal Government to render to the industry, the same support given the manufacturing and agricultural industries.
Dabiri stressed that it was pertinent that government review some of its policies as regards the sector, especially in its current quest of creating employment opportunities in the country.
The Chairman lamented that the industry, which has the potentials of creating huge employment opportunities and growing the revenue base of the economy, is currently producing below 50 percent of its capacity.
The Managing Director of West Africa Book Publishers, Mr. Gbenga Ladipo, a subsidiary of Academy Press Plc, pointed out that the use of foreign printers is inhibiting the growth of local printers.
He stressed that if government does not intervene, the printing and publishing industry will go the way of moribund industries in the country.
Ladipo called on government to reduce the tariff on books produced locally which according to him is as high as 35 percent while imported books are at zero tariffs.
He called on government to industrialise the printing industry by ensuring the establishment of a paper mill in the country.