The Senate on Tuesday began the probe of the moribund paper mills in the country with a view to reviving them.
The resolution was a sequel to a motion sponsored by Sen. Stephen Ekpeyong during Tuesday’s plenary on the need to revive the moribund paper mills in Nigeria.
While moving the motion, Ekpeyong noted that Nigeria’s three Paper Mills: Nigeria Paper Mill in Kwara, Nigeria Newsprint Manufacturing Company (NNMC) in Akwa Ibom and Nigeria National Paper Manufacturing Company (NNPMC) in Ogun were established by the Federal Government in the 1960s and 1970s.
He said the mills were to produce corrugated cartons, sack kraft paper, Kraft paper, linear and chipboard to meet the country‘s needs in writing and printing papers.
He said the mills were later privatised by the government as a result of lack of adequate funds to run them and non-performance to ensure effective and profitable management of the mills, adding after the privatisation the mills went underground.
He said that there was a need to ascertain their positions because paper production was a booster to the economy and educational development worldwide.
The lawmaker noted that the sector had gone moribund since the privatisation, leaving the country with another huge income deficit.
The Senate also urged the Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to review the duties on the importation of published books and raw materials to make printing locally favourable.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan urged the Committee on Privatisation to investigate the activities and operations of the mills and report to the Senate.
Lawan also asked the committee to get the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) to brief the committee on the level of compliance with share agreements by investors.