The Association of Professional Printers in Abuja have called on the Federal Government to urgently declare a state of emergency in the print industry, saying the industry is fast dying as a result of unfavorable government policies, which makes it difficult for them to operate.
The association made the declaration in commemoration of International Print Day, a day set aside by the global body to celebrate professionals of the industry.
The president of the association, Dr. Shuaibu Omeiza Musari lamented the situation they faced in importation of the materials, as apart from human material they source locally, other materials required in the industry are imported.
Musari noted that paper mill industries in the country have become moribund, stating that they need to be activated if the government is serious about its diversification campaign. He noted that verifiable statistics show that no industry has contributed to the country’s Gross Domestic Product as the print industry, apart from oil and gas, agriculture and information technology.
According to Musari, the industry is not left out of the negative impact of the COVID19, as the jobs of their employees are threatened if urgent attention is not given to the industry. He said the majority of his members are still battling with getting their equipment back on track after shutting down during lockdown.
The organization appealed to the federal government to make grants available for print industry practitioners, through the Central Bank (CBN), while encouraging the Federal Capital Development Authority to make land available for the print village as it exists in other climes.
Secretary General of the Association, Ameh Kennedy also narrated how it has become cheaper and easier to print educational materials from India and other countries than Nigeria as a result of huge taxation and forms of bad policies of government towards the industry.
Stressing the importance of the day, the president said it will help businesses to grow through networking, letting the world know that printing is still as relevant as ever before despite the technology associated with the profession. He said they will collaborate with potential partners and prospects, discuss with government ministries, and departments, manufacturers and other stakeholders on the challenges currently facing the printing industry in the country.
The Association commended President Muhammadu Buhari for putting together the Board that will enforce the local content in various sectors of the economy.