Publishers deplore absence of book policy for industry growth
The Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) has identified the lack of an effective book policy as a major hinderance to the effective performance of the industry.Besides, the group canvassed the appropriate funding of the copyright commission to tackle the myriads of problems confronting the industry.
At briefing addressed by the NPA president who is also the chairman of the 2019 Nigeria Book Fair Trust (NBFT), Gbadega Adedapo, he said there is an urgent need for the establishment of the Nigerian book commission, saying relying on just a department under the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) was no longer acceptable.
“It is sad that there is no umbrella body for the book industry, what we have is a department under NERDC, all our recommendations for the past 18 years have not been implemented because we do not know who to report to. We need a Nigerian Book Commission where issues relating to the industry can be properly looked into.”Adedapo also expressed concern over the volume of digital books being produced and distributed in the country.
“Statistics has revealed that over 60 percent of adult in the United States of America (U.S) alone use digital books. It is unfortunate that most of the books published in Africa are not available electronically, many factors are responsible for this trend and we understand the slow pace at which the digital revolution is being embraced for adoption in the publishing industry requires a cursory look.”
The NPA chief said the association would be using the book fair billed to hold between May 6 and 11 to launch campaign of acceptability for digital books and other Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-powered reading materials.He reminded that technology-driven books are the future and there is an urgent need to hasten its acceptability among its members and the general public.
Adedapo however added that for the industry to make impressive progressive in the quest for digital book acceptability, practitioners must also improve their technical know-how among other requisites in the 21st century.
The weeklong event themed, ‘’Optimising new technology in book development and distribution for the promotion of book trade in Africa,” will be attended by the Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Hammed Bobboyi, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonaya Onu, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Ms Yewande Sadiku as well as the Director General, Copyright Commission among others. Adedapo noted that the discussants will delve into the root cause amd way forward to grow the publishing industry and consequently quality of education, making books accessible to all the masses across Africa not leaving out people with print disabilities.