The Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON) has grieved over the rising cost of paper in Nigeria, warning that the situation could worsen unemployment in the country.
CIPPON is mandated to regulate the affairs of printers and related matters in Nigeria.
The President and Chairman-in-Council of the institute, Olugbemi Malomo, said the industry is being ‘monopolised’ in Nigeria by a few foreigners.
According to Mr. Malomo, paper is the biggest raw material and constitutes more than 50 per cent of any printing contract.
He said although the institute recognises that prices of commodities are increasing because of rising cost of foreign exchange, the about 300 per cent rise in the cost of paper far exceeds that of foreign exchange.
“It got so bad that everywhere an average Nigerian went to buy paper for importation into the country, they met a brick wall and were referred back home to the cartel who control the price of papers and sell at prices far above what obtains at the international market.
Not only do these foreigners sell papers at higher rates, 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,” Malomo said.
He expressed that the consequences of this is that members of the Institute are beginning to sell-off their equipments and lay-off staff almost on a daily basis, due to lack of jobs and the fact that they have to return LPO (local purchase order) of the jobs they got but cannot afford to execute due to rising cost of papers.