NIGERIA Publishers Association (NPA) has appealed to the Federal Government to resuscitate moribund paper mills in the country to reduce the cost of book production.
The National Executive Secretary of NPA, Mr. Emmanuel Abimbola, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Ibadan.
He said that government could make the sector viable by making funds available to publishers and providing subsidies to reduce the cost of production.
“The publishing industry is not doing badly but they are not doing enough, as we do not have the support of the government. For example, the banks don’t give loans to publishers.
“Government should ensure that funds are made available to the publishers because book publishing is not a small project; it requires lots of funding from the beginning to the end.
“So government should encourage publishers by making funds available to them and giving them access to loans,” he said.
Abimbola attributed the cost of book production and hike in prices of books to the moribund paper mills in the country and the cost of importing printing materials.
He called on the government to invite foreign investors to invest in paper mills in the country and make the business environment friendly for healthy competition to boost revenue and bring down the cost of production.
“It is unfortunate that most of our paper industries have become moribund. As it is now, the cost of paper is skyrocketing on daily basis and virtually all the materials involved in the printing process are imported.
“There is no way that the price of books will not move up and at the same time, we cannot toil with education; but if the prices of books are up, it means that it will undermine the benefits of education.
“So if the government can subsidize the sector and ensure that prices of publishing are brought down, it will encourage more people to have access to books,” he said.
On electronic books, Abimbola said that more publishers were coming out with electronic versions of their books.
“However, we should not forget that e-book is just a supplement or an alternative to the hard copy. This then means that we can’t still do away with book printing and publishing.
“Publishers are doing their best. Although our best may not be enough now, we still need to do more,” he said. (NAN)
– May 10, 2021 @ 15:30 GM