From Maurice Okafor, Enugu.
The President/Chairman -in- Council,Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA),Hon Uchenna Cyril Anioke, has described piracy as one of the greatest factors militating against the survival of publishing industry globally, especially in Nigeria and other developing countries in Africa.
Hon Anioke gave the hints in his address to mark the World book and copyright day,which is celebrated annually on April 23rd,as authenticated by UNESCO(United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organizations), since April 1995.
The NPA President called on the Federal government to devise measures of tackling the ugly trend by ensuring that copyright laws are adequately implemented. He lamented that while Publishers under severe hard times in ensuring that books and other literary works by Authors/Witerx are published to enhance National development, the pirates indulge in using poor quality materials in mass production if such books and flloding same in various markets. Thereby,depriving the Publisher and author from making profit from their creative works.
He stated,” Piracy tixay iperhaps the most vicious obstacle facing the book industry in Nigeria. This has sent many publishing houses into involuntary liquidation. Most book seller’s now offer top selling books absurd prices as they are made with interior materials and copy ideas by pirates”
“This has improved the sales of pirates while publishers are left with little reward for their works.The government failure to find solutions to piracy even with established regulatory agencies is affecting publishers.The copy right lWs are grossly outdated and inadequate to handle the menace of book piracy in Nigeria”.
He further identified some of the constraints confronting the book industry in Nigeria to include illiteracy, finance, poor reading culture, and infrastructural decay.
Anioke stated, urged, “Countries with high level of literacy and thereby with high number of readers are economically, socially and politically more viable than non-reading countries.
“Books play vital roles in national development. However, there are some huddles, constraints confronting the book industry that tend to dwarf it’s ability in performing these role.
“Moreover, publishers are of the view that finance is a factor militating against book publishing as publishing is capital intensive and because of the shaky wonky nature of the Nigerian economy, most bank consider it extremely risky to extend loan benefits to publishers.
He urged Nigerian Publishers to embrace Digital publishing which entails eletronic printing as a measure of remaining in business.
He tressed that e-books can be sold online and has wide outreach
He also advised his fellow publishers to engage in dual publishing. A method that enables them to sell e-boks to far and distant audience while pri ting hard copies to satisfy local audience and other perculiarities.