Federal Government said it would prioritise the patronage of indigenous printers and publishers of educational materials over their foreign counterparts to protect the printing and publishing industry.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu made this known in Abuja when a delegation from Academy Press Plc, an indigenous printer and publisher of educational and examination materials paid him a working visit.
Adamu 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.
Adamu also said that the government had resolved to make the industry more conducive for practitioners by evolving policies.
” Since the government was aware of the industry’s huge job creation potentials, it behoved on us to make it more viable,” the minister said.
Chairman of Academy Press Plc. Mr Wahab Dabiri, in his remarks, called on the Federal Government to render to the industry the same support given the manufacturing and agricultural industries.
Dabiri stressed that it was important that the government review some of its policies as regards the sector, especially in its current quest of creating employment opportunities in the country.
He, therefore, lamented that the industry, which has the potentials of creating huge employment opportunities and growing the revenue base of the economy was currently producing below 50 per cent of its capacity.
Also, Mr Gbenga Ladipo, Managing Director of West Africa Book Publishers, a subsidiary of Academy Press Plc, noted that the use of foreign printers was inhibiting the growth of local printers.
Ladipo said that if the government does not intervene, the printing and publishing industry would go the way of moribund industries in the country.
Ladipo urged the government to reduce the tariff on books produced locally which was as high as 35 per cent while imported books are at zero tariffs.