Lai Mohammed PHOTO: NAN

A group, Change@Cippon, has raised the alarm over the sorry state of the country’s paper mills, calling on the Federal Government to revamp them, to halt the importation of paper.

The group, consisting of professional printers, also called for the cancellation of the annual general meeting of the Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON), the body meant to regulate their activities, scheduled for March 15, 2018. They asked the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, to wade into the matter by reconstituting a committee to conduct a proper and credible election for CIPPON.

The aggrieved printers, who made this complaint at a press conference in Lagos, were concerned that the Nigerian printing and graphic industry, the highest employer of labour outside of farming in the country, employing millions in its entire value chain, is about collapsing.

They stated that over 1 million metric tons of paper, the industry’s major raw material, is imported into the country yearly, putting huge pressure on foreign exchange and the stability of the naira.

One of the founding members of CIPPON and spokesperson for the printers, Mr. Olugbemi Malomo, said regretfully that they had hoped the formation of the institute would tackle the challenges facing the industry through advocacy for favourable policies, incentives to make younger people take up career in the industry, aggressive education and training in order to help the industry contribute its quota to national development.

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