Associate Professor at the Department of Library Archival and Information Studies, University of Ibadan (UI), Dr. Oshiotse Andrew Okwilagwe, has called on the Federal Government to review the policies of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), especially in the area of sponsoring individual authors.
Okwilagwe made this called during the 2018 Nigeria International Book Fair (NIBF) conference, while presentng a paper on “Networking-A sustainable vehicle for dynamism and survival of book business in Africa.”
The event was held at the Jelili Adebisi Omotola hall, University of Lagos.
He said government should involve experts in policy regulation, stating that TETFUND should work out modalities on how institutions can benefits from the fund rather than sponsoring individual authors. They should put money in the universities and let them decide the area to publish. They should take a queue from the US where N10 billion is made from Universities publishing houses.
Also, Chairman, House Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Jerry Alagbaoso, stressed that a collective will from stakeholders should formulate policies to encourage the book industry and make books available to end users.
He added that high cost of living has equally affected negatively the purchase of books, people prefer to suffix the internet for information because it is cheaper, he stressed.
The chairman of NIBF, Abdulsalami said they are ready to partner with government in drawing up policies and legislation that would boost the book industry in the country as well as remedying the challenges hindering the growth of the industry.
He said, “It is an established fact that education is a wheel that drives the economy and development of every nation. Availability and affordability of books and other learning and teaching materials contribute to the growth of education. This is why the NIBF is crusading for the promotion of reading culture through easy access to books and other learning and teaching materials in Nigeria.”