The Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) has expressed concern over the high cost of “book review exercises” carried out by state education ministries and some federal government agencies in charge of curricula at national scale.
In a statement by its President/Chairman-in-Council, Dr Uchenna Cyril Anioke, in Ibadan, the association’s headquarters, the body frowned upon the exorbitant fees book publishers had to pay before their books could be reviewed for be used in schools by the state. ministries of education.
According to the president, “The book review exercise is a way to assess and assess the quality and standard of educational materials for use by pupils and students in any state without revenue generation.
“It also aims to provide many students with up-to-date books. The members of the association had paid a lot for this exercise in recent years. In fact, it is common knowledge that some states have boldly claimed that exercise is one of the ways they generate income. That’s sad, considering the huge taxes publishers pay to the government and the levies paid to get books to end users.
“The statement further stated that in the past, publishers had paid a lump sum for the fiscal year, which had now shifted to a per-title fee amounting to millions of naira per fiscal year per company in each state of the Federation. In addition to this, is the submission of a large number of books involved free of charge to the MOE. Unfortunately, adding huge review fees to the already precarious publishing industry would compound publishers’ problems and affect the prices charged on books. It would also affect the accessibility of pupils and students to books and hinder the educational goals of governments.
Anioke therefore appealed to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to gently intervene in this matter and curb the excesses of the state Department of Education and other federal government agencies for education and national school programs. This, no doubt, would go a long way in providing quality and affordable books to Nigerian students.