The Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria [CIPPON] have come to a decision to create small clusters for all sectors in the printing industry in order for them to self-regulate themselves, starting with print machine sellers and manufacturers.

According to the president of CIPPON Pastor Gbemi Malomo during an online meeting with stakeholders in the industry, he stated that it is going to be a long journey to achieve this set goal but believe that if all the practitioners will work together in unity, they will be able to come up with strategies that will promote the overall interest of the industry.

In his welcome address, the CIPPON president said that there is need for those selling print equipment to have a rule of engagement. His exact words: “Can anybody wake up one morning and say he wants to start selling print equipment? We need to decide that. We need to decide how we regulate this industry so that it can be profitable. We also want to ensure that the machines brought into Nigeria are of standard. We should be able to create a standard and decide the equipment that will come to Nigeria as that will ensure we don’t turn this country to a dumping ground for all sorts of printing equipment”. “We are also going to look at cost and funding. Recently, we got a letter from Central Bank of Nigeria on the letter we wrote them on the need to include printing in the creative industry fund, this kind of funding attracts only 9%. If practitioners in our industry can pay 9% for equipment, certainly those of us that sale equipment will be able to sell more. So we want the cluster to enable us work with financial institutions and government agencies for equipment funding and leasing. Also, we want to see how we can create a community based leasing so that when someone buys equipment, the people that are leasing the equipment will have a bit of comfort in terms of the community from which that person is coming from and in terms of the regulator knowing that if this person defaults, the regulator will be able to intervene”. Malomo said

In addition, the General Secretary of CIPPON; Mr. Akin Oduwole said
it is not enough for CIPPON to come up with regulations but insisted on putting adequate measures in place in order to ensure success of the industry. To have a successful regulation, it is important for the industry to split into smaller units. Practitioners in the imdustry will form different clusters base on their sectors: those into commercial printing will form a cluster, the large format will have their cluster, screen printers and so on. Once we have these clusters, it will be easier for CIPPON to come in.” Oduwole said.

The meeting was more of a policy making meeting as one of the major reason for organising the meeting was to get machine sellers fully involve in decision making.

In the words of the business development manager of CIPPON; Mrs. Rotimi Adeaga who moderated the meeting said there are many more meetings that will take place as time goes as one of the strategic goals of CIPPON is to be able to have different clusters of value chain in the Nigeria printing industry that can stand and grow on their own. However, it is important for each cluster to understand the peculiarity and challenges of their businesses”. She stated

The meeting had participants in attendance of which some of the leading companies in the Nigeria Printing industry were present; Heidelberg, Xerox, Gific amongst others.

While expressing her thoughts, Adeaga said the print industry has not enjoyed a lot of integrity even in the face of print buyers. According to her, a lot of people don’t see the industry with integrity. “I know this program is for equipment sellers but if printers are not trusted for what they do by their customers, it will certainly affect the equipment sellers as there will be lesser machines sold. In essence, what CIPPON is trying to do is to ensure that we attain institutional integrity in terms of the industry been perceive as a place where you can do business in a professional manner thereby gaining customers trust and loyalty.

Furthermore, she said the presence of CIPPON in the industry as a regulator is to protect the welfare of every practitioner, thus the law is on the side of printers and what they need is to be able to organize themselves. “When an institution is not organized it is free for anyone to come in and do whatever they like and that has its disadvantage.” She said.

Concluding the meeting, a seven man steering community was created as a cluster to be in charge of equipment sellers and manufacturers, which are as follows; Heidelberg, Xerox, Gific, FC export, cippon business manager, B technology, Exact Solutions