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Brands We Love: Onward Paper Mill

If you attended school in Nigeria within the last forty years, there’s a chance that you took lesson notes in an Onward Paper exercise book. You probably still use one now.

Those paperback notebooks are the product of Onward Paper Mills, one of Nigeria’s oldest paper product producers. The company also manufactures envelopes, makes labels and packaging for several businesses, and offers on-demand printing and custom paper products.

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Incorporated in 1972, the firm was the first indigenous paper converter to make stationery in the country. For a long time, its notebooks were the go-to for school children, teachers, store record keepers, and anyone else who wanted an affordable stack of stapled paper.

Over time, Onward has diversified into other segments of paper product manufacturing. It also takes on and fulfills print orders for businesses in several industries.

Partners In Crime Employees of Onward Paper Mill charged with ...

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Onward’s factory in Lagos makes about 500,000 exercise books a day. Unlike its older notes, these books mostly come with colourful cover designs. Distributors move them through a vast and penetrating supply chain until they end up on the shelves of bookshops in far off towns and cities.

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The company reportedly makes about 2.5 million envelopes per day. These envelopes come in many colours and sizes. They can be mass-produced for clients upon request. Other items supplied by Onward are A4 Paper, labels for a wide range of products, and paper products with special designs.

Onward also provides paper packaging for enterprises in these industries: retail, cosmetics, agriculture, food and beverages, and pharmaceuticals.

It manages paper product inventories for third party businesses as well. These clients can have their product supply planned, and delivered in line with ongoing needs. This allows them to minimize wastage and save costs on these items.

Organizations whose CSR projects involve primary and secondary schools can partner with Onward to deliver educational resources to those institutions. It’s open to working in this area, as it has done for several years with its own CSR initiatives.

Despite Nigeria’s constantly changing business climate, Onward has carried on making stationeries and other paper materials. Unlike the old days, it now plays in a very competitive market; consumers have more options to choose from. But it remains favoured among retailers and buyers alike, who have grown loyal to its enduring brand.


Featured Image Source: Onward Paper

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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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