The Federal Government has been advised to remove import duty on paper, ink and other materials used by book publishers so as to reduce the cost of production of books and make books cheaper.
The chairman Nigeria Book Fair Trust Mr.Samuel Kolawole made the call yesterday in Lagos while addressing the press on the tenth edition of the Nigeria International Book Fair Scheduled for May 9 – 13 at the University of Lagos.
Mr Kolawole noted that “at present Government does not collect import duty on imported books yet, Government collects import duty on ink, paper and other materials used by local publishers. This makes books published in Nigeria more costly. It also makes buyers to prefer importation to patronizing local publishers. Calling on Government to reverse this trend, Mr Kolawole added that “unless we give our local publishing industry, the necessary support, we will continue to spend our hard earned foreign exchange on books that we can conveniently produce here in Nigeria. In Ghana, there is no import duty on ink, paper and other materials necessary for book production” He added that, “Government also needs to provide adequate infrastructural facilities such as adequate supply of electricity. There is also a need for Government to be more decisive in the struggle against piracy. By the time we can eradicate piracy, and we are able to make locally produced books cheaper and more qualitative than we are on the way to a more qualitative educational system”.
Mr Kolawole said that at present, the Government has not been responding adequately to all the attempts made to get support for the Nigerian International Books Fair.