On this episode of the Channels Book Club, analysts; Eghosa Imasuen and Robert Lawson discuss the potential effect of a new federal government policy that has imposed fresh tariffs on book importation in Nigeria and a few other issues around the subject. The new policy sparked debates and protests amongst people within Nigeria’s publishing, education and book sectors.
The policy has led to the imposition of over 50% tariffs on importation of books into Nigeria. Here is what the numbers now read for importers of books: import duty: 20%; Surcharge: 7%; ciss: 0.5%; levy: 30% and vat: 5%; all totalling 58%.
Prior to this policy, certain books were tariff free, so to speak. Academic and religious books for instance, fell into that category. With the new policy, all books imported now attract duties and levies.
From the government’s perspective this new policy forms part of its fiscal policy measures designed to encourage self-sufficiency in local industry based on recommendations by relevant stakeholders in different sectors of the economy after extensive consultations. According to the government, this will encourage local printers.
Critics of this new policy have hit back at the government claiming that the policy will drive the costs of books up at least in the medium term, lower the quality of books available in the market, stifle the publishing sector, encourage piracy and generally set the effort to develop a strong book culture back by many years. Some publishers already have containers of books stuck at the ports due to this new policy.
On this edition of Channels Book Club, we feature three guests.
One is a talented software engineer and writer, Rotimi Ogunjobi, who presented six books in one day!
The other two are 9 year old prodigies; Ijeoma Nwaogu, the author of ‘the lost girl’ is a primary 3 pupil of SOS Hermann Gmeiner primary school, Isolo. Tobi Osinubi, the author of ‘the royal recount’ is a student of Leicester high school for girls in south Knighton, Leicester, UK.
If you are one of those who have been procrastinating forever on writing your own book, these gifted girls will nudge you to get cracking! And if your own 9 year old has not particularly started writing, Ijeoma and Tobi will inspire him or her.
The ‘Authors Talk’ event is a platform for writers to present and discuss their works.
This episode features readings from 3 Nigerian authors: Lola Shoneyin (The Secret Lives Of Baba Segi’s Wives And her Collection of poems titled, ‘So All The Time I Was Sitting On An Egg’) Sam Umukoro (Heart Strings) Victor Ehikhamenor (Excuse Me!).
The Secretary General of the Committee For Relevant Art (CORA), Toyin Akinosho on Tuesday recounted the contributions of the late Chinua Achebe to the evolution of African literature. Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Akinosho said the late author used his writings to incorporate Africans into the global discuss.
“That phrase that we’ve all heard about ‘telling our own stories’ is essentially an ‘Achebian’ phrase. We all borrowed it from him,” he said.
Watch the video below for the complete interview with Mr Akinosho.