As CBN grants manufacturers access to $660m, What hope for the printers in the new year?

The question forming the theme of this piece may seem ambiguous. But for every practitioner in the Nigeria Printing and Graphics Industry will find it very apt and topical. This is judging from every sphere of professional view point and as it has been affecting industry players.

This is not because manufacturers have been allowed access to a whopping forex exchange that when converted into local currency, is well over N200billion; it is both logical and reasonable to say that the printers – unsung heroics operating within an untapped business environment that is capable of reinvigorating already collapsing economy with great potential for employment and within the manufacturing circle may not benefit from the government largesse.

Reasons are not farfetched! Indices indicates the industry itself is far from being ‘organized’ as there exist no clear cut policy thrust driving the Muhammed Lawal led Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON). Established in 2009, the CIPPON is supposed to provide, regulate and advocate for an enabling platform on which doing profitable, hassle-free printing business in Nigeria is achieved. As much as we can argue here, this focus is still a mirage with supposed members (those who are fortunate to have been registered) continuing to blame lingering lacuna on leadership failures and many others claiming ignorance of the existence of the professional body.

Government policies overtime have also not help matters. It has been absolved by industry practitioners as unproductive and quite retrogressive. The Muhammadu Buhari led civilian regime seem not to be making any positive consideration for the sector despite the high hopes that heralded his election as Nigeria’s number one citizen. Positive expectations by Nigerians continue to wane with no iota of resuscitation in view.

Major woes of the Nigerian Printer for over 160-years of the trade in the country have include poor or no electricity, lack of access road and water, no paper mill to locally produce for the converters, high import duty and tariff for raw materials including consumables etc. Worst still is the lack of education and sensitization on the part of the industry hierarchy and supervising ministry, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture; lack of recognition and acceptance of competencies of industry practitioners which eventually leads to capital flight of print jobs. Hmm..! The list seem endless and now the search for who will bell the cat continues.

Our culture as publishers of PRINTERS DIGEST is to communicate objectively by informing and educating on what ought to be in the sector. To this end, we care to project into the new year 2017 with many evoking questions – though not rhetoric as we think if relevant government and leadership of the sector can consider to do their bidding, definitely the people will find their way.

We have a cover story with the theme INFLUX OF CHINA-MADE PRINTING MACHINES IN NIGERIA: CHALLENGES AND PROSPECT. This focus try to underscore the pros and cons of hitherto substandard printing machines that come into the country in droves. Considering the fact that the new year 2017 had just beckoned, it is our believe that every entrepreneur thinks viability and durability. But if our hopes are daintily limited to the services of not-up-to-standard machineries, then how good is our hopes especially now that it is a new year?

Like in every phase of human endeavour, there would be activities that would impact on our business decisions – this comes in the similitude of “New Year Resolution”. We have tried to capture these “resolutions” in three different folds namely: 17 Things to look out for in the Printing Business Year 2017; 17 Companies to watch out for in the new year 2017 and 17 …….. Our regulars – Executive Watch, Industry News, Global News, Packaging Digest, Print Doctor, Print Fashion, Print Health, Pre-Press, Press, Post-Press, Print Marketing, Print Management Print Personality Interview among others are all inclusive in this edition for your real digest of the industry.

Friends, it will be terrible of me, so to speak, if I fail to formally welcome you to the new year 2017. While I, on behalf of the PRINTERS DIGEST Team, wish you a very productive and prosperous new year, kindly note that we are not perfect and will appreciate your constructive criticisms so that together we can make the Nigeria printing and Graphics Industry a toast of the world.

Cheers!

Samuel Nwaekwu

Editor,

+234 806 786 7275

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