From Magnus Eze, Enugu
The 2020 National Conference/Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) begins in Enugu on Friday, December 4, and ends on Saturday.
The event, which has Enugu Governor Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, as the Special Guest of Honour, would attract vice-chancellors of universities in the South-East and other key stakeholders in the education sector including chief executives of Universal Basic Education Boards (UBEBs).
Other notables expected at the conference include Prof Bankole Shodipe of Babcock University as Guest Speaker; Prof Joy Ezeilo of the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus and other panellists that will include the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Copyright Commission and members of the academia.
Addressing a pre-event press conference in Enugu, Chairman of the conference organising committee, Chief Austin Onwubiko disclosed that the theme of the two-day conference is: “Re-strategizing to strengthen Nigeria publishing companies to meet future challenges”.
The publishers, who further disclosed that they have embraced the reality of e-book in the face dynamic publishing, decried the high cost of printing materials especially newsprint saying that it has affected inclusive education in the country.
They also lamented over the negative effect of piracy on the sector, disclosing that pirates had taken over 70 per cent of publishing businesses.
The body pleaded with the Federal Government to resuscitate the moribund Nigeria Newsprint Manufacturing Company (NNMC), Oku-Iboku in Akwa-Ibom State.
‘We have woken up to the reality that e-book is here to stay with us. It’s a new phenomenon and a reality for publishers to either adapt or be left behind.
‘But the most potent challenge faced by Nigerian publishers today is pirates. They now import books from China, Indonesia and flood Aba, Onitsha and Ajegunle. Piracy has taken over the publishing company and government has not been able to do anything,’ Onwubiko said.