Forty thousand visitors are expected at this year’s Nigeria International Book Fair which opened on Monday at the Multi-Purpose Hall, University of Lagos.
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Book Fair Trust, -organisers of the event – Mr. Abiodun Omotubi, who disclosed this during an interview with our correspondent, said it was the first time all the stands were acquired by the exhibitors.
He said, ‘‘We have about 130 exhibitors this year and a projection of 40,000 visitors. On Monday, the number of visitors was encouraging. The hardwork consistently exhibited by employees of the trust is what has been keeping us going. They are committed to promoting the reading culture which is our main goal. We neither have government backing nor sponsors.”
Omotubi further said the organisers were convinced that the best way to encourage reading was to gather publishers to a venue to display their best books for people to see and buy.
He added that there was no way anybody would visit the venue without getting encouraged to purchase books and read them. The 11th edition of the fair is themed The State of Infrastructural Development in Africa and the Future of the Book Trade
Major publishers within and outside the country had secured stands with visitors patronising them to make purchases.
These include, Evans, Macmillan, Spectrum, University Press Plc, CSS, Repro from India and Farafina.
The Association of Nigerian Authors, Lagos State Branch is also taking part as it has a stand for writers.
Promising exhibitors a good time throughout the book fair which ends on Saturday, Omotubi called on book buyers to take advantage of the fair to purchase books that would make them informed persons.
The book fair would witness an international conference and award presentation today at the university’s Afe Babalola Auditorium where the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i and Farouk Lawan of the House of Representatives are expected to be in attendance.