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Nigerian publishers advocates revival of paper industry

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The Nigerian Publishers Association has called for the revival of the country’s paper industry to ensure the sustainable growth of the publishing sector.

At the 2023 Annual Conference/General Meeting, NPA emphasized the need for functional paper mills to mitigate the challenges posed by the closure of major paper mills in Nigeria.

NPA President, Sir Uchenna Cyril Anioke, highlighted the impact of the distressed paper industry on the publishing sector, stating, “Our indigenous publishers possess the technological and technical know-how to produce high-quality books, and continuous reliance on foreign publishers undermines our local economy.”

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He urged publishers to support local production and take pride in using Nigerian brands.

Despite the challenges, Anioke shared a positive development, announcing that the NPA finally owns a personal property after 58 years of operating from rented offices.

The newly acquired mini-secretariat is located at No. 1, Bethlehem Crescent, Jericho Hill, GRA, near Forestry Research Institute, Ibadan.

The keynote speaker and former Managing Director of the African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, Dr. Rotimi Oladele, emphasized the importance of paper in Nigeria despite technological advances.

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He recommended action plans, including the establishment of a Printing and Publishing Chamber of Commerce and a Paper and Graphics Development Commission.

Oladele urged stakeholders to spearhead research and innovation, focusing on recycling policies and enterprise development.

Highlighting the urgency of the matter, Oladele said, “Our population and level of development make us a big market for paper merchants. We must stop the huge forex capital flight to countries annually and create jobs in this ecosystem while paper sustainability lasts.”

He also warned about the global shift toward a paperless society, urging priority setting, willpower, patriotism, and reliable leadership commitment.

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A panel session followed the keynote, featuring discussions among experts on the challenges and potential solutions for the revival of the local paper industry.

The session was chaired by former NPA president Chief N.O. Okereke, with the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Dr. John Asein, moderating.

Panel members included Professor Abiodun Oluwadare, Chief Executive of FAE Limited, Mrs. Funlayo Okeowo, Mr. Olugbemi Malomo, and Managing Director of Learn Africa Plc, Alhaji Hassan Bala.

 

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