Lagos set for 21st Nigeria International Book Fair

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By Henry Akubuiro

Themed “Copyright and Sustainable Growth in the Book Ecosystem: Setting a New Agenda”, the twenty-first edition of the Nigeria International Book Fair will kick off on Thursday May, 2022, and runs till Saturday, May, 2022, at the Harbour Point Event Centre, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, where it took place last year. 

“Participants,” said Gbadega Adedapo, who chairs the Nigeria Book Fair Trust, at a news briefing in Lagos, Wednesday, “can walk in at no cost to Harbour Point Event Centre to see different books physically showcased, buy books and network while the online platform would create a top-notch experience.”

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Organised by the Nigeria Book Fair Trust, which is the umbrella body for the major stakeholders in the Nigerian book industry, the Nigeria International Book Fair, said Adedapo, who chairs the Nigeria Book Fair Trust, is the most consistent international book fair in Africa, endorsed by both the Federal Ministry of Education and Education Trust Fund. 

A regular feature at the annual book fair, an international conference will herald activities lined up for the fair on Day 1 —Thursday May 12, 2022 — to be discussed by industry experts.  

Mr Gbadega Adedapo, President, Nigerian Publishers Association, reiterated that the major “objective of the book fair is to encourage and ensure that reading culture in our nation is sustained, especially considering what we have been hearing about our reading culture dying, and we should not allow it to die.”

Mrs Okorji, who spoke on behalf of school proprietors, said her group would be collaborating with the NBFT to ensure an inclusive affair. “It’s also interesting to note that the book fair  also plans to include pupils and students,” she said, highlighting debates, maths and spelling bee competition, presentations and poem recitations as important programmes that students look forward to, “which is also an external platform that will be used to randomly assess how schools perform in these competitions.”

Expected guests include but not limited to: Mallam Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education (as Special Guest of Honour), Barr. John Asein, DG of Nigerian Copyright Commission (as Keynote Speaker), Prof. Veronica Anunobi, CEO of National Library of Nigeria (as  Chairperson), Gov. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, Lagos State Governor (as Chief Host). 

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Also expected are the Oyo State Governor, Eng. Oluseyi Makinde (as Special Guest of Honour) and the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun (as Guest of Honour). Others include Dr. Hamid Boboyi, Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (as Special Guest), Prof Suleman Bagoro, ES of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (as Special Guest), among others. 

The 21st edition of the Nigeria International Book Fair is expected to be officially declared open by a distinguished Guest of Honour, alongside notable dignitaries. 

Discussion of the keynote paper by a panel of discussants will be drawn from Nigerian Publishers Association, Booksellers Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Library Association, Association of Nigerian Authors, Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria, and National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools. 

The panel will be moderated by the professor of publishing and copyright, Prof. Andrew Okwilagwe, Head of Mass Communication Department, Dominican University, Ibadan, Oyo State. 

Open word poetry and other literary presentations are also part of the book fair. There will also be expository workshops. Publishers, booksellers, authors, librarians, printers, among others, are encouraged to attend the workshops and various programmes lined up, including panel discussion by UN SDG Book, Club African Chapter; workshop by Network of Book Club and Reading Promoters in Nigeria and Sensitisation Programme by National Library of Nigeria. 

In addition, groups, such as Pan African Writers Association (PAWA), Nigerian Association of the Blind, Reproduction Right Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG), African Publishers Network (APNET), National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) will all feature their respective programmes during the three-day event. There will also be school competitions.

Exhibitors and trade visitors, said organisers, will come from many African countries, Europe and Asia. Among the sponsors for this year’s book fair include Quarterfold Printabilities, India; Spring Time Software, India; Accessible Publishers Limited, Nigeria; CSS Bookshops Limited, Nigeria, etcetera. 

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