By Rukayat Moisemhe
Lagos – Renowned publisher, Mr Samuel Kolawole, has urged government to deploy necessary resources for the Nigerian Copyright Commission in it’s fight against piracy so as to fully harness potential of the industry.
Kolawole, who is the Managing Director, University Press Plc., made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos.
Kolawole attributed the lack of growth of the sector to inadequate implementation of government policies to improve the sector.
He said that the sector had the capacity to expand employment opportunities, improve standard of living and contribute to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), if properly harnessed.
“Publishing challenges in the last few years have been greatly affected by various factors of the economy.
“Many publishers have barely been able to keep their heads above water; however, the situation can be better.
“When it comes to purchase, government is a big spender but quite unfortunately, there has been no major purchase from the government in the last five years.
“I am therefore asking that government at all levels throw their political willpower and support toward ensuring that the sector is improved and can ultimately contribute our quota to national development,” he said.
Speaking on free education, Kolawole revealed that only books on core subjects were fully paid for by the government.
According to him, the perception is misleading and has affected the quality of education as it was not clear to the parents what was provided by the government and what they should be providing.
“So many state governments saying they are implementing free education at all levels can be misleading.
“It must be clear what government is paying for and what the parents should pay for so that there is no gap in the process and the children can benefit maximally,” he said.
Kolawole said Nigerian Copyright Commission in partnership with Nigerian Publishers Association was planning a sensitisation campaign to help citizens distinguish original copies from pirated ones.
He also urged government to back up the sensitisation programme and strengthen laws which would punish both buyers and sellers of pirated copies.
On e-books, Kolawole urged publishers to embrace technology and take advantage of the opportunities therein.
He stated that publishers must not shy away from the potentials that electronic books provided.
“There is no difference between hardcover and e-books, the contents are same, authors must be engaged and all other processes involved.
“The only thing is in its final presentation, so it is a win-win for publishers,” he said.
He urged parents to encourage and enforce reading culture by being shining examples at helping the younger generation to develop reading culture.
“Reading culture involves developing a culture for reading leisurely and not what we have here, that people read for certifications.
“Children emulate what you do and once they see you always reading and leaving books opened around the house, it would be very easy for them to adopt same,” he said.
Kolawole, who was also recently appointed Chairman, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti branches of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), promised to build on the achievements of the past administration.
He urged government to consider the Association’s input during policy formation and called for stakeholders’ participation in the affairs of MAN. (NAN)