Stakeholders at the 2019 World Book and Copyright Day have identified the need to end piracy as a means of growing the book industry and the nation’s economy.
Reports have it that stakeholders in the book industry stated this in Ibadan on Tuesday while commemorating the World Book and Copyright Day.
The event was organised by the Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) in collaboration with the Association of Nigerians Authors (ANA) and Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).
Mr John Asein, NCC Director-General, who was represented by Mrs Nisi Ogundiran, NCC Zonal Coordinator, South-West, enjoined stakeholders in the creativity industry to collaborate with government to revamp the sector.
He called for partnership that would help to build a copyright system capable of engendering national economic development.
“As we join the world to celebrate the book as an enduring legacy; it is, however, saddening to note the decline in our reading culture.
“This has become a major national concern in Nigeria for its youth population,” he said.
The Executive Secretary of NPA, Mr Emmanuel Abimbola, said the essence of commemorating the World Book Day was to promote reading, writing and publishing.
“There is no education without books; the challenge about reading is that few people read for pleasure due to many factors.
“Let people read and those who have the skills should write, but the government should do more about libraries; when there are equipped libraries, especially at the grass roots, people will read,” Abimbola said.
Emeritus Professor, Femi Osofisan, said piracy must be tackled to encourage creativity.
“Authors should be able to earn a living through their works; the industry should be recognised.
“If people cannot make a living out of writing, then they will not continue, or if they continue, we will just have as we have now; self publishing.
“Piracy is done in the open, it is not hidden because the penalties are so little,” Osofisan said.
Mr Akin Bello, the guest writer at the event and winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize of Literature and author of ‘Egbon of Lagos’, described reading as a veritable way of wholesome development.
Otunba Sunday Obiyinka and Prof. Andrew Ogwilagwe, publishers and guest speakers of the day respectively, emphasised the role of reading culture, especially for the younger generation.