Ahead of the gradual easing of Lagos State from the Covid-19 lockdown, an Ikorodu based veteran printing professional and a former Chairman of Ikorodu Printers Association, who also doubles as the CEO, S.O Okeowo Digital Press, Alh Shakirudeen Okeowo has predicted tough times for the printing industry in Nigeria, Lagos and Ikorodu in particular.
Okeowo shared this thought, titled ‘Covid-19 and How it Affects the Printing Industry’, with some of his professional colleagues in the printing industry and made the statement available to Ikorodu Oga Radio.
‘We have been locked down in our various homes for the past 5 weeks now, tomorrow we shall all be coming out, but I have a piece of advice to you, my colleagues’.
Firstly, Okeowo admonished printers to abide by the rules laid down by the govt. of Lagos State, as follows;
1, provide water and soap to all our customers
2, provide hand sanitizer
3, face mask to all our staff and insist on its usage compulsorily, by all customers.
Speaking further, he said ‘you all are aware that the main patronage of our business are these four Institutions I will mention, the school proprietors, the pastor’s, the Imams, and manufacturing Industries’.
‘Remember the first three are still under lockdown and it will be like that for as long as the covid-19 exist, meaning there won’t be any activities from them, if there are no activities, no printing will take place, the last one, which is the production Industries, they will be laying off staff because of lack of importation due to scarcity of dollars’, he stated.
Proffering solutions to the identified challenges, Okeowo suggested the followings to his colleagues;
1. ‘We must avoid wastage of materials, because they will be very scarce and expensive due to scarcity of dollars, the crude oil that fetches dollars for federal government. Its sales had gone down globally no one is buying, the price of crude oil in the global market now is 18 dollars per barrel, still nation’s were not buying due to the covid-19 pandemic, so there will be scarcity of dollars’.
2. ‘Do not price your sales any how, this is not the time to charge your customer anyhow, I have said it,materials will be expensive and scarce’.
3. ‘Don’t keep worker’s you cannot maintain, how do I mean? Business is going to slow down this period, so some staff that are naughty before now should be released, those ones that have the progress of the company should be kept with conditions. If you can afford their full salary no problem, if you cannot place them on half salary but let’s have the fear of Allah in mind in doing these’, he counseled.
And, lastly he, advised printers to ‘priorities your need, don’t spend money on what you don’t need now, there’s a lot of hunger in the land. Many companies are downsizing, banks are closing some branches, a lot of workers will be loosing their jobs, so stockpile your house with a lot of foods that can last you for 3 to 4 months. You know your children are at home covid or not they must eat’, he concluded.
He concluded by praying to Almighty Allah to save the world from the Covid-19 pandemic and for God to ease the business terrain.
Okeowo however noted that too much of sins was the reason God is inflicting the world with this covid 19 scourge, while praying for forgiveness of sins so that the covid will be washed always.