By Johnpaul Anih, 25/4/2021
The Nigerian Publishers Association NPA, has decried the level of rape on the industry by fraudsters who steal their works, republish and make huge money from them while they perish in hunger, trauma, emotional torture and encased with unpaid loans.
Speaking yesterday during the celebration of the World Book day whose theme was, ‘share a story’ and topic, Book and National Development, prospects and challenges, an event that was held in the conference hall of the solid 100.9fm Enugu, the Association’s President, Chief Hon Uche Anioke, stated that, the rate of damage done to their industry by copyrights has alarmed to an extent that, it would have made them go into extinction if not because of the grace of God and the the resistance of some of their members.
According to Chief Hon Anioke, “Piracy is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of the Publishers industry which almost everybody indulges on, both knowingly and unknowingly.
” It is a situation whereby books written and published in Nigeria by Nigerians are often reproduced abroad and sold at cheaper rates by fellow Nigerians across the nation, not minding the implications of their actions on the original owners of the books .”
“We are seriously pained by these nefarious actions and want the Government to start full implementation of the copyright laws as it is one of the surest way of curtailing them if not, the industry will die and once it is dead, the country is dead ; as no nation exists and grows without books. “
He also frowned at the appalling rate of reading culture in Nigeria, a situation he said, would seriously deal with the progress of the country in the near future because, without reading, we can not gather new ideas that will develop us as even UNESCO has affirmed books, as one of the crucial tools in National Development.
“The reading culture in Nigeria has reduced to the barest minimum and i wonder how we intend to grow without reading.”
“We now have Leaders with zero knowledge of what Leadership is all about because many of them have empty brains due to their negligence towards reading.”
“We also have students and graduates who are unemployable because, they don’t read to develop themselves making it a pathetic situation.”
The Nigerian Publishers Association also went further to urge the Government to reduce taxation on the materials used in producing books as the cost of printing books abroad is cheaper than doing so in Nigeria, a situation which they asserts have also helped those in the intellectual theft industry.
“The Government should help the industry by minimizing the taxes paid on the importation of raw materials used in producing books and equally revamp the paper mint industry so as to help them in keeping Nigerians informed.
” The collapse of Nigerian Paper mill in Jebba kwara State , Nigerian News print manufacturing company in Akwaibom, amongst others that were established by the federal Government with a work force of over 300 and an investment that is worth over one hundred billion naira, this added to the almost nonexistence of standard libraries in the country, tells why we are moving no where in this country.”
They however, enjoined their members to start involving in dual publishing which they explained as the normal conventional publishing way and the online publishing.
” Our members should start adopting dual printing strategies to solve the reading needs of everybody and equally know the needs of the readers so as to ensure that, those in need of the online books are not given the manually published and printed ones while those in need of the manually printed ones, are not clustered with the online books, which will equally reduce piracy”
“The Government should as a matter of urgency, start investing in Education, start adult literacy programmes, start giving grants to publishers, start revamping our libraries, start clamping down on copyrights, return reading and debating clubs amongst others and avoid their bokoharamic policies on education” so as to get the country back on track for a sustainable National growth. “