POWER and the INTEREST of stakeholders are two fundamental keys to growing a successful institution of repute depending on whether it’s used positively or in a negative way.
“People with high power and interest need to be kept satisfied, while people with high interest need to be kept informed”, as the saying goes. This aspect of satisfaction doesn’t take cognizance of the interest of the public who do not have the power to influence any decision taken.
The events of the past months in our dear industry have shown the power played by three different INTEREST groups that threatened to halt the progressive restructuring process that the institute is going through

A cursory review of current events that have created a temporary impasse in the wheel of progress of the Nigerian printing industry revealed the presence of these INTERESTS fighting for the heart and soul of the industry.
The first INTEREST represents stakeholders who strongly believe that they have the right to all that concerns the industry because of their contribution to obtaining a charter status for the industry. They think the industry to be their personal property.
They have refused to quit the stage of the leadership of the institute even after spending more than a decade in office. They use the tool of age, deceit, intimidation, and manipulation to attract sympathy to their course.
They sincerely and genuinely do not have anything to contribute to the growth of the industry. They do not have any meaningful business in printing in Nigeria – They take any advantage they have to make money for themselves using the story of fighting for the charter status for the industry – This INTEREST can be called the CHARTER CABAL.

Another INTEREST that is fighting to control the soul of this industry is very salient and powerful. They are often not professional printers but handle most of the choicest print jobs that emanate in the industry . They make money from the industry but are often not keen on issues relating to the development of this industry. They use different measures to protect their selfish interest to the detriment of the industry . In this group, you will find politicians, contractors, retired government officials, investors, etc. A lot of them make use of age, experience, academic qualifications, social media to further their INTEREST. I call this INTEREST – NONCHALANT CABAL

Now let us look at the 3rd INTEREST – this represents people who are dynamic, young, entrepreneurial, innovative, creative who ventured into the print business in the last three decades.
They are largely responsible for the changes that have given a new image of the print business in the eye of the public. They are print professionals by business not by education. They have stakes and a future in the industry. They see print business like any other business that can thrive in Nigeria if there are good business ethics, level playing ground, innovations, etc.
They began by working behind the scene, thereby causing a change in their small place of influence as they watched events unfold, and waiting for the day for their ultimate manifestation.
Then just like a thunderbolt, they took charge with the change Mantra and began to be the voice in the industry. As expected, within a short space of time the whole nation began to take notice of the industry, the industry became a voice in various strata of government.
The industry began to envisage rays of light of hope at the end of the dark tunnel, the wheel of progress of the industry began to move in the right direction. This group became the envy of all stakeholders as they continued to overcome barriers to break into new frontiers in the Nigerian business environment. This interest is called the CHANGE CABAL

As CHANGE CABAL made great strides and enjoyed support from stakeholders in the industry, they failed to cover their back and this led to the emergence of a fifth column having a combination of the ideals of CHARTER CABAL and NONCHALANT CABAL in their camp, they immediately began to slow down the innovative and creative moves by this group using various orthodox methods. These actions within the camp of the CHANGE CABAL began to rock the progressive boat of the industry until it finally brought to a temporary halt in July 2021

The effect of the current situation is the reemergence of long-forgotten INTERESTS, the CHARTER CABAL suddenly sprung up attempting to take the reins of the industry through a planned stakeholders convergence, whilst the nonchalant CABAL is exploring the possibility of ensuring their INTEREST is protected. And for the CHANGE CABAL, they are undaunted by the setback but this time taking more caution to sanitize their house, block all loopholes and reposition the industry for greater height. Where does this leave us? First, we must know and understand the presence of these three INTERESTS and their agenda, secondly, we must identify which of them is most appropriate in moving the industry forward, and thirdly we must not seat on the fence and allow the wrong iNTEREST to take the reign of the industry.

As you read and reflect on the issues raised in this article, I encourage you to seek and be influenced by the iNTEREST that will truly MAKE PRINT BUSINESS PROFITABLE AGAIN

Mr. Tunde Obokhai