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Gbajabiamila, Fayemi, Bodour, others to headline 20th international book fair

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor
21 July 2021   |   4:13 am
The National Assembly has been urged to expedite action in passing of the new Copyright Act, which was recently transmitted to it by the Federal Government.

Consultant to the Nigerian Book Fair Trust (NBFT), Mr. Remi Adesokan; pioneer chair of NBFT, Mr. Dayo Alabi; Vice chairman of NBFT, Mr. Babatunde Fashanu; Chairman or NBFT, Mr. Gbadega Adedapo; President of Nigerian Publishers Association, Chief Uchenna Cyril Anioke; Trustee of NBFT, Chief (Mrs.) Oluronke Orimalade; president of Booksellers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Dare Oluwatuyi, and Executive Secretary of Nigerian Book Fair Trust, Mr. Abiodun Omotubi at the press briefing to announce this year’s Nigerian International Book Fair… in Ikeja, Lagos.

The National Assembly has been urged to expedite action in passing of the new Copyright Act, which was recently transmitted to it by the Federal Government.

Speaking at the media briefing to herald the 20th anniversary of Nigeria International Book Fair (NIBF), chairman of the Nigeria Book Fair Trust (NBFT), organisers of the fair, Gbadega Adedapo, said: “This would send a great caution to book pirates and copyright violators through effective sanctions and stiffer penalties as appropriate.”

The book fair is the second-largest international book fair in Africa. It is jointly organised by all stakeholders in the book ecosystem such as the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA), Booksellers Association of Nigeria (BAN), Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Nigeria Library Association (NLA), Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON) and Reproduction Right Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG).

Adedapo said that in spite of the ups and downs the world has been witnessing over a year now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all is now set to organise a hybrid experience (physical and virtual) scheduled to hold between July 27 and 29, 2021.

“The last one year has made us to realise that any enterprise without online presence will die naturally. As a trust, we are embracing the new normal as this year’s book fair will be hybrid in nature,” Adedapo said.

Themed, Awakening the giant in women for the growth of the book ecosystem, the fair chairman said it has been carefully put together to harmonise the interest of women, discuss the strategies to empower women in the book value chain for the benefits of all and sundry, adding, “it is believed that Africa will take a cue from facts, opinions and working strategies that would be shared at the event.”

The book industry is endangered, “but if we work together, we would be able to salvage it.” Adedapo said: “At NBFT, we work towards promoting and improving the reading culture among Nigerians and Africans by bringing together all players (exhibitors, publishers, authors, illustrators, booksellers, readers) in the book industry.”

The book fair, which is expected to converge publishers, authors, booksellers, printers, librarians, schools, research institutes, government agencies, all book lovers and stakeholders from different parts of the world, “is going to be an hybrid experience (physical and virtual participation).”

He said, “from next year there will be the introduction of an awards for members of constituent bodies. These include Best Author, Best Bookseller, Best Literary Work, Best Printer, Best Librarian, Best Publisher, and so on. This, we believe, will drive more participation in subsequent editions. The selection criteria and the award committee shall be unfolded soonest.”

The keynote speaker for the international conference is Sheikhs Bodour Al-Qasimi, the president of the International Publishers Association, while the Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, is special guest of the conference. Erelu Bisi Fayemi, who has been a strong voice for policy advocacy for women and child development particularly in Africa and beyond, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5, through her various grassroots initiatives, policy engagements and movement building for social justice is the conference chairperson.

The briefing attracted stakeholders such as first chairman of the board, Mr. Dayo Alabi; Chief (Mrs.) Oluronke Orimolade, a member of the board of trustee; the President of the Nigerian Publishers Association, Chief Uchenna Cyril Anioke, the President of Booksellers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Dare Oluwatuyi, President, Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria, Mr. Olugbemi Malomo, President, Nigeria Library Association, Professor Isa Ekoja and the Executive Secretary of the Trust, Mr. Biodun Omotubi.