The Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON) has decried the arbitrary increase in the cost of papers in Nigeria, describing the cartel involved in the importation of papers as a threat to national security.
The president and chairman-in-council of the institute, Mr Olugbemi Malomo, stated the Nigerian printing industry, which employs over 10 million Nigerians within its value-chain, is currently under siege laid by few foreigners who monopolize the market and make it impossible for Nigerians to import paper into the nation freely.
Malomo identified that paper is the biggest raw materials and constitutes more than 50 per cent of any printing contract however that the cartel has been increasing the prices of papers each day.
“Although, the institute recognizes that prices of commodities are increasing across the board due to the rising cost of foreign change, the rise in the cost of papers which is currently around 300 per cent, far exceeds that of foreign exchange.
“Not only do these foreigners sell papers at higher charges, but they also are competing with indigenous printers on the commercial side, taking their business, since most of them are unable to match their prices, thereby raising antitrust issues,” he stated.
Malomo stated members of the institute are beginning to sell-off their equipment and lay-off staff virtually every day, because of lack of jobs and the fact that they have to return Local Purchase order (LPO) of the jobs they got, however, can’t afford to execute due to rising price of papers.