Find Printing and Publishing expertise in Nigeria
- Industry profile
Cowry Asset Management Limited
There are over 100 book publishers in Nigeria, with Ibadan and Lagos as major publishing centres. The largest book publishers are educational publishers, notably University Press plc (formerly Oxford University Press Nigeria, founded 1949), Longman Nigeria plc, Macmillan Nigeria Publishers Ltd and Evans Brothers (Nigeria Publishers) Ltd, all of which are affiliated with international groups. The 1978 Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree declared that at least 60% equity participation in book publishing must be by Nigerian nationals. The vast majority of books published in Nigeria are textbooks for primary and secondary education.
Book publishing in Nigeria is fundamentally confined to the private sector. In the 1970s the federal government attempted to establish a government publishing company, but it was unsuccessful. Although a number of government agencies, ministries of education, and professional associations have participated actively in the development of school textbooks, they have tended to do so in collaboration with book publishing houses. The federal government, together with organisations such as Book Aid International, the British Council and the World Bank, have endeavoured to promote the provision of books for Nigeria’s school systems.
Publishing in Nigerian languages is limited. However, there have been attempts from some quarters to publish in indigenous languages. For instance, Macmillan Nigeria Publishers has published books for the teaching and learning of Yoruba, Igbo, Efik, Edo, Hausa, Ebira and Urhobo. The Bible Society of Nigeria publishes bibles in English and indigenous languages.
Although Nigeria was home to the first indigenous language newspaper in Africa (Iwe Irohin Fun Awon Ara Egba ati Yoruba), few newspapers are published in indigenous languages. These few are regionally based since they are confined to areas where the language of publication is spoken.
No qualifications, certificates or predetermined conditions need to be met before entering the publishing profession in Nigeria. Membership of the main professional body for Nigerian publishers, the Nigerian Publishers Association (established in 1965), is not compulsory. Membership in 2004 stood at 103 nationwide. Copyright law is administered by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), though its enforcement has not always been stringent.
Until independence in 1960 the printing industry was dominated by British colonialists, but five years after independence an American and a Briton collaborated with two Nigerians to establish Academy Press in Lagos in 1965. In 2007 the federal government established the Chartered Institute of Professional Printers (CIPPON) to regulate the practice of printing and other related matters in the country. The Act requires that all printers in Nigeria should be registered members of CIPPON and all printing presses in the country licensed by the institute. To become a member of CIPPON, one is required to be a trained printer. As of 2010, according to the African Courier, 1,000 people have registered as members. Difficulties in the Nigerian printing industry include the inconsistent power supply and the high costs connected with the import of paper materials (the functioning of Nigeria’s paper mills has been variable).
The Nigeria Book Foundation (NBF), a non-profit NGO, was established in 1991 and is committed to the development of a vibrant indigenous book industry in Nigeria. Membership of the National Advisory Council, one of the major organs of the NBF, includes the National Librarian and the president of the NBF, together with the presidents of the five major professional associations in the book industry – authors, publishers, printers, booksellers and librarians. The Nigerian International Book Fair is held every year at the University of Lagos; the NBF is a founding trustee of the Nigerian Book Fair Trust (NBFT), which organises the fair.