The Oyo state Governor, Seyi Makinde has vowed to join book publishers in the fight against piracy in the country, decrying its adverse effects on education sector and larger economy.
This is also as the Managing Director of University Press Plc, Mr. Samuel Kolawole, President of Nigerian Publishers’ Association (NPA), Chief Uchenna Anioke and other publishers decried the adverse effects of piracy and quackery in publishing business.
They spoke during the 2021 annual conference and General Meeting of the Nigerian Publishers’ Association (NPA) which took place at Golden Tulip Hotel, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Makinde, who was the chairman of the occasion, said he would join forces with the publishers to ensure that piracy is thoroughly abolished.
The programme had the theme: “Reviewing The Publishing Business Model for Economic Sustainability.”
Represented by the state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Barrister Raman Abdu-Raheem, Makinde said piracy discourages productivity and creativity.
He said, “With regard to piracy, we are ready to partner with Nigerian Publishers Association and see the ways and manner we can be of assistance to them.
“ The Oyo State Government is not interested in buying books that are subject to piracy. We always buy directly from the publishers because that is the only way we can ensure that what we are buying genuine products.
“Piracy has adverse effects on the economy. It discourages productivity and creativity. It won’t encourage people to write books. If this happens, the publishing industry will suffer for it.
Nobody pray for such, that is why the Oyo State government will continue to do its best to ensure that piracy is abolished.
“They are publishing. We have our schools. Naturally, we are the end users of the products. That is one. Two, we pledge to be of assistance to them in other areas they need our help. We will be ready to do that because without them, our own policies in education will not see the light of the day.”
He added that the contribution of the association to annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state could not be underestimated.
“In one way or the other, you have all contributed towards the attainment of economic and education growth in the State and the Nation at large. Consequently, Oyo State Government will continue to recognize and identify with the Nigerians Publishers Association,” he stated.
Also, the Managing Director, UP Plc., Dr. Samuel Kolawole, who gave the keynote address, said, “The major challenge in the industry is piracy. Though we have other like infrastructural deficit, piracy remains the main one, because it eats away all our profitability. It is threatening the industry. Pirates don’t pay taxes. They don’t employ the number of staff we employ.
“Government must empower the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to be able to fight piracy. If government works with the NCC, we will achieve success.
Also, Nigerian publishers must be ready to take advantage of technology and reduce their operational cost. The old model that encourages large infrastructures is no longer feasible in view of the current state of hardship on our economy, the naira falling, rising inflation and the intrusion of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He decried the lack of proper regulations in the sector, leading to avalanche of errors in many books.
He therefore, called on the government to critically check books being used in schools.
Other publishers and panelists at the event also lamented the impact of piracy in the sector.
In his welcome address, the president of NPA, Chief Uchenna Anioke explained that the conference was organized to chart a new path for enduring growth in the sector.
He lamented that the publishing and creative industry is going through challenging times, saying that there was an absolute need to think outside the box.
He said, “The book industry oils national development. A nation without books cannot develop, he said.