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FG laments loss of jobs, forex in printing industry

Federal Government on Wednesday lamented heavy losses that the economy had suffered in terms of jobs and scarce foreign exchange due to lack of high quality printing facilities in the country.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Lai Mohammed, said this in Abuja at the commencement of the 4th Digital Print Solution Expo organised by Skysat Technologies with the theme “Exceeding your business expectations.”

He wondered that although “Nigerian print industry is over 100 years old and that the industry has grown to become a multi-billion-naira industry with thousands of small, medium and big printing companies across the country, the country sadly is not the number one choice for Nigerians who desire cutting edge printing jobs.”

Mohammed noted that often times, people travel to Dubai, China or the United States to print their books, magazines and other materials, which inevitably leads to the flight of scarce foreign exchange and even more worrisome, it creates jobs in those countries, while printing industries in Nigeria gasps for breath.

The minister then noted that the exhibition by Skysat demonstrates that Nigerian entrepreneurs and investors in print business now have access to the latest technology and solution for office documentation and printing.

“May I therefore, appeal to members of the business community and government institutions to increase patronage of local print shops/press, especially those with cutting edge technology that is exhibited here today.

“By doing this, they will not only help to strengthen the printing industry, reduce the burden on scarce foreign exchange, promote direct foreign investment into the country, they will be creating jobs for the teeming unemployed Nigerians”, he stated.

Earlier in is welcome address, Managing Director of Skysat, Mr. Izzat Debs said the exhibition was an indication that his company is a market leader in the digital printing sector.

“The company, which already has more than 1000 users of Konica Minolta machines across the nation has since 2011 supported the establishment of more than 500 small and medium enterprises in the printing sector and creating over 2000 jobs.