The Association of Professional Printers Akwa Ibom State (APPA) has inaugurated substantive executive to drive the affairs of the association recently.
The event which took place at the NUJ press centre, Uyo had signatures ranging from all walks of life to deliver papers to further abreast the association of the task ahead and to equip them with the knowledge needed in the modern printing business.
Affiliated with the Society of Printing Practitioners Council of Nigeria, the Chairman planning committee, Prince Andy Bernard in his address expressed satisfaction at the inauguration of the executive, stating that the association which started since 2008 was incorporated the following year with membership strength exceeding 500 spreading through the three senatorial zones of Akwa Ibom State.
Digging into the history of printing, he stressed that the press which started in 1844 through the effort of British printer, William Caxfon got to Nigeria by missionaries shortly after the abolition of slave trade and was established in Calabar in 1846 by Rev. Hope Waddell of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
He also said that those who ventured into printing business as at this early period may have had very little understanding and was self centered which the inaugurated body is set to address. “I am proud to say that what we could not have achieved a century ago is now manifested in our generation. To crown it all, history will remember our late President Alhaji Umanu Musa Yar’Adua for signing into law a bill recognizing Chattered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON) in 2009 which is now named as the society of Printing Practitioners of Nigeria (SPPON) and the conversion of Yaba College of Technology and Kaduna Polytechnic to degree awarding institutions of printing technology”. He appealed to governor Udom Emmanuel, in the spirit of Dakkada philosophy to upgrade facilities in the printing department in the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua, Ikot Ekpene so as to alleviate the burden of our students who wish to study printing technology and those who are studying outside the state.
Those sworn into the state executive council included Chief Michael Archibong as the Chairman; Elder Godwin Essien, State Vice Chairman; Comrade Samuel E. Edward, general secretary as well as Comrade Akpan S. Afahaide as the assistant secretary.
Others included Dr. Michael Mbon, treasurer; Prince Andy Bernard – PRO; Comrade Tony Ukpong – financial secretary; Comrade Esang Ubong Daniel – Auditor and Elder Ekong Bill Mathew with Mrs. Alice Gabriel Etuk as provost and welfare affairs 1 respectively.
Those in the Ex-officio rankings were Hon. Elder Friday Uben, Pst. Rhema Edemekong, Pst. Okoette Gilbert, Comrade Uduak Jimmy and Comrade Akpaeti Albert Akpaeti which Comrade Unyime Ume and Prince Solomon Okon Bassey as Walfare and Provost 11.
In his speech, the President, Society of Printing Practitioners of Nigeria, Mr. Nwora Egbuniwe, who sworn in the executive charged them to be active in their various offices as it was as if most of the south south states were missing out in the national and expressed happiness on the executive for having such a great vision to come under an umbrella.
He expressed optimism that with the caliber of people inaugurated into office, printing in the state would be classic and that there is no project that Akwa Ibom printers cannot execute properly.
“With the Calibre of people I am seeing today in Akwa Ibom State, I am amazed. There is no developmental project that is being fashioned out in Akwa Ibom State that it will not function. This is my first time of coming to this area and I am amazed about the development going on in this place, there is no project that will come out that the people of Akwa Ibom State cannot do, Mr. Egbuniwe added. He encouraged the newly elected executive to be participating in National Conferences with the view to learning new things and that it is not only the display of machine but that their lectures and interactive sessions would really expose the printers in the state to be able to do more. On the area of taking the high cost of printing materials in Nigeria, he opined that the country is still developing technologically adding that with the current trend, many manufacturing companies are suffering but expressed optimism that there will be a forum soon in the country.
In his acceptance speech, the newly inaugurated Chairman, Chief Michael Archibong expressed appreciation to God for having the association fully established in the state. Chief Archibong saw the inauguration as a call to serve the people with a promise of fair representation to all the members of the association, hoping to discharge his duties in line with the provisions in the constitution of the association to the benefit of all members. He tasked the government to support the association by providing machines that will not only assist the printers today to deliver excellent jobs but the upcoming ones could be adequately funded in the craft to carry out the business in future.
In his words, “I respectfully solicit the supports and encouragement of Akwa Ibom State government under the leadership of our amiable Governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. I humbly request that government should donate a service bus to the association to ease the movement of members to and fro our social engagements. Similarly, knowing that our major handicap is the collapse of business capital, we sincerity appeal to the government to extend some financial supports by ways of soft loans to printers to enable us acquire some digital equipment dominant in the printing industry today”.
The chairman maintained that “the association craves the indulgence to request that those equipment purchased into the Akwa Ibom State Newspaper corporations, “The Pioneer Newspapers,” which are lying fallow should be made functional to enhance the corporation’s revenue generation profile”.
On the area of training he added, “training of printers is very crucial at this juncture, because of the need to harmonize standard of operation among all practitioners. There, we appeal to Akwa Ibom State Government to upgrade the current department of printing in Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic to train printers to meet the required standard in the industry. We also appeal to the society of printing practitioners of Nigeria (SPPN) to put in plan an internal mechanism to train our members as obtained in other professional bodies.”
In a chat with Century Newsfront, the chairman said that the association had been looking forward to being inaugurated but all efforts proved abortive, adding that before the inauguration, a member had donated his building to serve as a secretariat which proves that the members have passion for growth of the association. He promised that APPA is committed to training young people who are willing to venture into the profession and that government attention will be called into the association where members could be empowered and patronized so that they can move forward.
The event also had some prominent citizens of the state awarded for their excellence in the craft including Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, Obong Archibong Akpan, Elder Edet Etim Obot etc and was graced by choir ministration from Christ Believers (Evangelical) Mission.
Obong Akpan on behalf of the awardees appreciated the association for honouring them for their numerous contributors in the field of printing. He pointed out that printing business is very lucrative and that despite the fact that the economic recession in the country seems to have affected the trade, but that everything will become normal and printers will enjoy again. “Printing, is a noble profession and we have to stand out for the public to know because it is a profession that is very educative”, Obong Akpan noted.