The Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) has expressed grave concerns over the high cost of Book Review Exercises being carried out by the various states’ ministries of education and some federal government agencies in charge of educational curricula nationwide. The body therefore urged government’s urgent intervention, so as not to worsen the high cost of books in the country and create disincentive for parents and their wards.
In a release by its President/Chairman in Council, Dr. Uchenna Cyril Anioke in Ibadan, the association’s headquarters, the publishers frowned at the exorbitant rates book publishers are being forced to pay before their books could be reviewed for use in schools by all states’ ministries of education nationwide.
According to Anioke, “The book review exercise is a means of evaluating and assessing the quality and standard of educational materials to be used by pupils and students of any state devoid of revenue generation. It is also aimed at providing our teeming students with up-to-date books. Members of the association have been paying hugely for this exercise in recent years. In fact, it is on record that some states’ ministry of education have come out boldly to say that the exercise is one of the ways by which it generated revenue. This is sad, considering the huge taxes publishers pay to government and levies paid in the course of getting books to the end users.”
In the past, publishers paid a lump sum for the exercise which had now graduated to charges per title that runs into millions of naira per exercise per company in each state of the federation. In addition, Anioke further charged, “is the submission of huge number of books involved free of charge to the various ministries of education of each state,” lamenting that the huge fees being demanded for the review exercise in addition to the already precarious publishing business, “would compound publishers’ problems and affect the prices charged on books. This would also affect pupils and students’ accessibility to books and inhibit governments’ educational goals.”
Anioke therefore appealed to the Honourable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to intervene in the matter and curb the excesses of states’ ministries of education and other federal government educational and curricula agencies nationwide.
According to him, “This, undoubtedly, would assist greatly in the provision of good, quality and affordable books to the teeming Nigerian students.”