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Book publishers express concern over exorbitant review rates

By Sunday Aikulola
27 April 2022   |   2:42 am
The Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) has expressed concern over the high cost of ‘Book Review Exercises’ being carried out by the state ministries of education and some Federal Government

The Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) has expressed concern over the high cost of ‘Book Review Exercises’ being carried out by the state ministries of education and some Federal Government agencies in charge of educational curricula nationwide.

In a statement by its President/Chairman in Council, Dr. Uchenna Cyril Anioke, in Ibadan, headquarters of the association, the body frowned on the exorbitant rates book publishers have had to pay before their books could be reviewed for use in schools by state ministries of education.

According to the President, “book review exercise is a means of evaluating and assessing the quality and standard of the educational materials to be used by pupils and students of any state devoid of revenue generation.

“It is also aimed at providing teeming students with up-to-date books. Members of the association had been paying hugely for this exercise in recent years. In fact, it is on record that some states had come out boldly to say that the exercise was one of the ways by which they generate revenue. This is sad, considering the huge taxes publishers pay to the government and levies paid in the course of getting books to end-users.

“The release further stated that in the past, publishers had paid a lump sum for the exercise, which had now graduated to charges per title running to millions of Naira per exercise per company in each state of the Federation. In addition to this, is the submission of a huge number of books involved free of charge to MOE. Sadly, adding huge review fees to the already precarious publishing business would compound publishers’ problems and affect the prices charged on books. This would also affect pupils and students’ accessibility to books and inhibit governments’ educational goals.”

Anioke has, therefore, appealed to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to kindly intervene in the matter and curb the excesses of states’ MoE and other Federal Government Educational and Curricula agencies nationwide. This, undoubtedly, would assist greatly in the provision of quality and affordable books to Nigerian students.