The Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPN) has requested the Federal Government to allow its members to join the multitude of government agencies operating at the seaports and airports across the country to “checkmate printing materials from outside the country”.
The institute which was established by an Act of Parliament No.24 of 2007 to regulate the practice of printing and allied body in the country also wants representation at the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, office; Universal Basic Education, UBEC; National Population Commission, Office.
President and Chairman-in-Council, Wahab Muhammed Lawal, lamented that illegal importation of light packaging materials by some Asian companies under the guise of raw materials is adversely affecting the local printing industry as it has rendered some printing presses redundant and some operating completely below capacity.
“This illegal activity has rendered some companies jobless. Go to some presses at Somolu in Lagos, they are sleeping with all their equipment and if you go round you will see where a machine that is supposed to print four colours is printing only one colour.
“You will also see some workers sitting down. So it has rendered some printing presses jobless and as a result, the owner cannot pay salary and before you know it, he is retrenching workers,” he said.
Lawal said the body could not deal with the situation because it lacks the powers to enforce its laws adding that the institute is also handicapped by lack of representation at strategic places like the ports and offices from where it can play a role in helping the authorities address the situation.
“The Act that established this body mandated us to advice the government on matters relating to printing. If we are to advise the government on matters relating to printing, we must be involved when they are taking a decision on printing.
“We must have representations at the airports, seaports, INEC Office, Universal Basic Education, UBEC; National Population Office. That is when we can provide advice and that is when all this illegalities can be reduced,” said Lawal.