Newspapers vendors have called on the federal government for intervention to save their businesses from going into extinct.
Emeka Nweze, Chairman of the Anambra Newspaper Distribution Association in Awka who made the appeal on Saturday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said online media publications have taken a huge toll on the newspaper sales and led to low patronage from customers.
“This development has seriously threatened our businesses as we hardly sell up to 100 papers in a day,” Mr Nweze said.
“I was, for instance, supplied 89 copies of vanguard newspaper for the week but sold only 30 copies.
“I received 75 copies of Sun newspaper but sold only 26 copies; 15 copies of Nation newspaper but sold only six copies; and four copies of Punch newspaper and sold none.
“Our businesses are presently sustained by paid advertorials, job vacancy placements and other forms of advertorials.
“We earnestly hope for a change in fortunes and still believe that newspapers have more merits than online publications.
“Government should consider the fact that newspaper vendors depend on commissions and when newspapers are not sold, might be induced to seek alternative means of survival,” he appealed.
Another vendor, Nancy Okoye, also pleaded with the government to enact laws that would sustain newspaper sales while enabling online publications to thrive.
“I appeal to news publishers to curtail their online publications among other news contents, to keep newspaper vendors in business,” she added.
Okey Ifebunna, an ardent newspaper reader, told NAN that he has sustained his newspapers readership to verify the news sourced from online publications.
Online news outlets are on the increase in recent years, a development most mainstream media have keyed into.