Funmi Ogundare
The National President, Nigerian Publishers’ Association (NPA), Mr. Gbadega Adedapo, has berated the activities of pirates in the country, saying the body has started inaugurating its state chapters to protect the publishing industry in the country and guide against piracy.

Adedapo, disclosed this, recently, while briefing Journalists, on activities of the Nigerian Book Fair Trust(NBFT), to hold the 16thNigeria International Book Fair (NIBF 2017), between May 8 to 13, at the Multi-purpose Halls, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka.

He said the association needs to improve on its distribution chain, noting that, though it’s a challenge to really monitor what is happening to published books in different states in the country, hence, the reason why it decided to introduce state chapters.

According to him, “ It’s our mandate to protect publishing in Nigeria, if we have miscreants among the book sellers, we will not be able to achieve what we want, we believe we need to accredit the book sellers to reduce the activities of pirates in the industry. We will also be able to access information from time to time from our state chapters, and by so doing, we will be able to help the knowledge chain in the country.”

The Chairman of NBTF, Mr. Rilwanu Abdusalami who emphasised on the book fair, said it will feature a conference, with theme, ‘ Book Chain, Government Policies and the Promotion of Reading Culture in Africa’, on May 9, at the same venue, adding that the growth of book and knowledge industry are seriously hampered across Africa.

The conference keynote paper will be delivered by the former Registrar of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, while the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Shehu Sani; Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief Nike Akande, are expected as conference Chairman and Special Guest of Honour, respectively.

The Chief Host is the Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Professor Abdulrahmon Bello.
“The theme will extensively be discussed at the conference and divergent views of the participants shall be collated and made known to the government for necessary actions,” he said, adding that the body is making itself relevant and visible so that government can listen to it.

“We are trying to reach out to the government to see how we can develop the book industry in Nigeria, the problem we have is as a result of change of government and policy, we want to lobby government and the Senate so that they can recognise us such that when we make presentations, it will bring about the needed change.”

He expressed concern about the reading culture among students saying that they only read to pass examinations.
“There has to be a collective will among parents, schools, and the library, inspite of the socio- economic challenges. Parents must encourage their children to read and do their assignments,” Abdusalami said, adding, “this is why the Nigerian Book Fair Trust is crusading for the promotion of reading culture through easy and affordable access to books and other learning and teaching materials in Nigeria.”

Emphasising on some benefits that participants will enjoy at the book fair, the chairman listed exposure to national and global updates on the new developments in the book industry, opportunity of buying and selling of publishing or distribution rights from prominent authors and publishers; opportunity of buying books and other learning and teaching materials at discounted rates, among others.