Home National Nigerian printers threaten to sue INEC for printing materials overseas

Nigerian printers threaten to sue INEC for printing materials overseas

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The Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria has threatened to sue Independent National Electoral Commission in court for allegedly printing most of its electoral materials overseas.

The agency which is charged with the duty of regulating, controlling, managing and administration of printers, the business of printing and other printing related-matters in Nigeria said INEC’s action was illegal and a violation of the CIPPON Act 24 of 2007 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

CIPPON’s President, Mr Olugbemi Malomo on Thursday admitted in an interview that the electoral body had been awarding printing jobs to local printers, but he insisted that outsourcing contracting printing contracts to foreign firms were a violation of the law.

He insisted that INEC was obligated by law to award the printing of all electoral materials, including ballot papers to local printers through the Institute citing Section 23b of the CIPPON Act, which states, “In regulating the registration of printing practitioners, the council ensures that no firm or partnership shall practise as printers in Nigeria unless it is registered by the council.’’

Malomo stated that there was an improvement in the awards of contracts to Nigerian printers after the CIPPON council visited the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, in Abuja last year.

The CIPPON President said, “There was an increase in patronage of our members. To that extent, that advocacy was meaningful. The second point is what percentage were we able to get? We have not been able to collate that.

“Was there any percentage (in INEC printing jobs) that was taken out? Certainly, but we don’t know what percentage that was taken out. The next level of advocacy, we are thinking of doing and I want you to quote me on this; is that we need to approach a court to interpret the law because the Act that established us says, ‘If you are not our member, you can’t get a printing job in Nigeria.’

“But we are aware that they patronise people who are not our members, so, we will eventually seek an interpretation of that (in court). But by and large, more people are patronised but we can’t say at what level or how many people were patronised.

“But with the help of the fourth estate of the realm (the media) and for the benefit of all Nigerians, we all need to work together. People are taking the jobs out of the country and I can tell you it is not because of lack of capacity, it is because of other interests.’’

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