By Job Osazuwa
Newspapers and Magazines Distributors Association of Nigeria (NDAN) has drawn the attention of the governments, at all levels, and other stakeholders to the seeming neglect of its sector over the years.
The association’s Chairman, Godwin Akpan, in a statement, reminded Nigerians of the distributors’ worth in the scheme of things, especially as the country prepares for 2023 elections.
He lamented that many newspaper vendors and agents lose their lives in motor accidents or sustained injuries that result in permanent disability while plying their trade without any support from government or interest groups.
Akpan said his members always carry their own cross, yet render essential services to Nigeria.
“Both newspapers and magazines distributors carry news concerning which stocks to buy; best practices in industry not only in Nigeria but all over the world. We carry political news about which parties and personalities are winning at elections or the ones that are rigging and other relevant information.
“Apart from these, the advertising and promotions agencies spend billions of naira every month to advertise their products or services. Those billions of naira would not be noticed unless the vendors toil by carrying out door to door canvassing at motor parks, in buses and on the streets.
“But what distributors get in return are peanuts and total neglect.”
In view of the foregoing, Akpan said his members which run into millions need urgent attention.
He added: “Most of us are married and have children. We are voters and consumers. We represent approximately 17 per cent percent of the population and no reasonable nation can afford to disenfranchise such large group of people from participating fully in the real sector of the economy.
“Government or interest groups should identify with us, gather data and give necessary assistance to our organisation. Newspaper vendors need education and additional skills.
“Government should provide enabling business environment for distributors of press products by improving the infrastructure. They should provide insurance cover to vendors in case of accident.”