By Franklin Ocheneyi
Operators in the local printing industry say foreign exchange FX scarcity is hurting their business.
Speaking on behalf of the operators during an exhibition organized by Tenarui Africa and Canon, manufacturers of Canon printing machines, Founder of CMYK Studios, Dotun Adekunle, told journalists in Lagos that the industry is facing challenges, top of which is FX scarcity to bring in printing materials.
“Foreign exchange has become a huge challenge, especially the last two years; it has been very tough because most of the materials for printing are imported e.g. Papers, toners, cartridges, Inks and a lot of others are imported. I think that the way forward is for at least printing papers to be produced locally.
“I think the government need to look at this area, there are a large market and demand for paper. We have timber, why should we be importing paper. It does not make any economic sense,” he said.
According to him, another challenge is irregular electricity supply. “You use half of your resources generating power, then it becomes very difficult, even when you produce at a very high rate you cannot compete internationally, because if you are going to produce paper, one ream of paper you are producing is N25, 000 and the imported paper is N23, 000 or N24, 000; customers are going to go for the lesser price and meanwhile your paper is not as quality in standard like the imported ones,” he said.
“I think there are areas people need to invest in, the area of paper recycling production, Recycling is a major case to consider. For us to get the technology right, the recycled paper should be of quality and original as the imported ones.
“You know that Nigeria is almost like a commercial state and what we do primarily is buying and selling, because production is capital intensive, it requires technical expertise, needs a lot of machinery, and a lot of capital outflow, and that is a challenge. Maybe development banks and the other stakeholders can support investment in the sector,” he said.
Speaking, Managing Director, Tenaui Africa Limited, Yasser El-Farra, said: “Nigeria market is changing dramatically, to be honest. What we saw as a challenge, specifically in terms of infrastructure has changed and we believe tomorrow will be much better. The Nigeria market is huge and has the biggest resources, which is manpower.”
He also stated that Canon as a business is happy with the business environment in Nigeria. Nigeria remains the biggest business partner of Canon. We have planned for more business expansion, new businesses areas and growth.