"We can pick up any book published by any foreign author and reprint and adapt it to our society"

This is interesting. Although, admittedly, I cannot quite put my finger on why I feel that way about. I really feel that there is something here that could feed into one or the other argument I should be making. Right now, though, I can't quite figure it out. So, here I drop it.

The co-author of The Making of A Nation – Biafra, and chairman of the Fourth Dimension Publishing Company, based in Enugu, Anambra State, Mr. Arthur Nwankwo, has called on the Federal Government to withdraw its membership from the World Copyright Association. He said the withdrawal would help Nigeria conserve her foreign exchange and the huge amounts paid as royalties to multinationals in buying copyright. Mr. Nwankwo argued that knowledge was not a property of any race or country. He stated, "We can pick up any book published by any foreign author and reprint and adapt it to our society". He said he was in support of Government participation in the book industry, because it has the capacity to compete with the multi-nationals, who he said, flood the country with bad books that are responsible for cultural degeneration in the society. Mr. Nwankwo said that the Federal Government should have the courage to censure such books and control the rising cost of books artificially created by the multi-national corporations. The FDPC chairman alleged that multinationals still infiltrate all the ministries of education throughout the country and therefore controlled what the people learnt in schools. He stated that the effect of the Federal Government indigenisation programme has not been felt in the publishing industry. This unhealthy situation would be rectified if the Federal Government encouraged indigenous publishing companies by giving them soft loans and by participating in joint publishing venture with them, Mr. Nwankwo stated.

(West Africa, 7 July 1980, p. 1255)


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