The Nigeran Publishers Association (NPA) has decried the exorbitant rates states’ ministries of education are charging to review the books of its members for use in schools.
The umbrella body of publishers also said that some federal government agencies in charge of educational curricula are fleecing its members in the ongoing book review exercises.
A release signed by the NPA President, Dr. Uchenna Cyril Anioke, said book review exercises are not revenue-generating ventures that states and federal parastatals are turning them into.
“Book review exercise is a means of evaluating and assessing the quality and standard of the educational materials to be used by pupils and students of any State devoid of revenue generation. It is also aimed at providing our teeming students with up-to-date books. Members of the Association had been paying hugely for this exercise in recent years,” Dr. Anioke said.
He added that “it is on record that some states’ Ministry of Education had come out boldly to say that the exercise was one of the ways by which it generated revenue. This is sad, considering the huge taxes publishers pay to the government and levies paid in the course of getting books to the end-users.”
Dr. Anioke’s statement further explained that publishers previously paid a lump sum for the exercise, which had now graduated to charges per title running to millions of Naira per exercise for each company in states.
“Sadly, adding huge review fees to the already precarious publishing business would compound publishers’ problems and affect the prices charged on books. This would also affect pupils and students’ accessibility to books and inhibit governments’ educational goals,” he warned.
The NPA President appealed to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to intervene and curb the excesses of States’ MOE and other Federal Government Educational and Curricula agencies nationwide.
He explained that Adamu’s intervention would assist in providing good quality and affordable books to Nigerian students.