Nigeria loses N1tr yearly to patronage of foreign printing firms by INEC, UBEC, others
It was gathered, yesterday, that Nigeria loses N1 trillion revenue yearly to patronage of foreign printing firm by government and government agencies.
Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON), which made the disclosure in Abuja, blamed the situation on reliance of major spenders, like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), on foreign printers, lamenting that it was killing local printing firms.
It charged Federal Government to come up with policies that would stop its agencies from patronising foreign printing firms.
National President of CIPPON, Mr. Olugbemi Malomo, made the request in Abuja at the Nigerian International Paper and Pulp Summit.
He lamented that the country was importing printed material worth over N1 trillion yearly, a situation he described as not good for the nation’s economy.
The event, tagged ‘Bridging The Gap In Local Pulp And Paper Production in Nigeria’, was declared open by the Minister of Industry, Trade And Investments, Adeniyi Adebayo.
Malomo said: “A few months from now, we shall be having our general elections. Hundreds of thousands of tons of paper costing the nation billions of naira will be used in the elections, and I want you to know that all the papers will be imported.
“If we are going to make meaningful development and move from a consumer nation to a production one, we need a paradigm shift whereby big government spenders like INEC and UBEC should be using our money to develop local production capacity.”
“With 60 per cent of Nigeria’s population in one school or the other, over 1. 2 billion books are printed yearly in Nigeria. The paper used is imported into the country.”
The minister, in his presentation, told stakeholders at the gathering that his ministry was working on an industrial revolution to revamp the sector in Nigeria.
He said: “In line with the vision of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan, a Backward Integration Policy Programme was initiated in the paper sector.
“It was with the aim of encouraging businesses and farmers to venture into commercial wood pulp farming while, at the same time, encouraging intermediate paper and paper product manufacturing companies in the country to key into the process of backward integration with a view to sourcing paper pulp materials locally.”