14th December, 2017
The House of Representatives Committee on National Orientation, Information, Ethics and Values on Thursday appealed to the Federal Government to do all it could to revive its printing press in Lagos.
The committee Chairman, Rep. Olusegun Odebunmi, made the appeal during the inspection of the printing press with other members.
The committee ‘s visit was to ascertain the state of printing press as part of its oversight functions.
Odebunmi decried the decay of structures and equipment at the printing press, saying the government needed to intervene urgently to save it from total collapse.
“We are not happy with what we have seen here today. The machines and equipment are obsolete and the buildings are dilapidated.
“It is so unfortunate that there is total decay everywhere. This is not what is expected of a government printing press. This place has been abandoned.
“There is an urgent need to revive the printing press so that it can be viable and even earn revenue for government.
“If government can invest in agencies and sectors that are not as strategic as this press, then they can revive this press with the needed funds to enable it live up to its mandate,” he said.
The committee chairman said that the management should also do more to change the fortunes of the printing press.
He said it was a big irony that the same organisation that was crying for funds had failed to utilize over N300million that was released to it in 2016, as it was returned to the Federal purse.
Odebunmi said though the money was a far cry from what was actually needed to make the press more functional, the management should have utilised the funds for some needs.
He, however, said the committee would do its best to ensure the press got the needed attention.
Another member of the committee, Mrs Ayo Omidiran, said the printing press should be the pride of the nation, but was now choking as a result of neglect by successive governments.
She said the machines at the press were obsolete and most of the offices were in bad state.
Omidiran called for urgent government intervention to save the press and make it competitive.
She said the press would be given the attention it deserved by the House of Representatives as it considered the 2018 Appropriation Bill.
Earlier, the Director of the printing press, Mr Tommy Itu, said that the press had the mandate to execute government jobs and protect its documents.
He, however, said the press had not performed up to expectation, owing to obsolete machines and poor working environment.
Itu appealed to the committee to help get the necessary intervention for the press, to enable it to perform optimally.
“The Federal Printing Press has suffered so much.Most of our machines are over 50 years old and we cannot get spare parts to maintain them because they are not available.
“Our structures are dilapidated and our staff are depleting. In spite of all these and more, we are doing our best with what is available.
“But we will surely perform well if we are given the right attention and we are appealing to members of this committee to help us in this regard to reposition the press,” he said.
The committee also visited the Nigerian Television Authority in Victoria Island and the National Broadcasting Academy of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) at Ikeja.
The committee expressed satisfaction with state of things at both organisations, but urged them to improve in the area of revenue generation, to improve their fortunes.