By Omololu Ogunmade
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja conferred the sole power for the personalisation of all Nigerian e-passports and related documentation on the Nigerian Security Printing & Minting Company (NSPMC).
A statement by the president’s media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, recalled that the company, initially known as The Mint, was established in 1963 with the objective of producing the nation’s currency notes and coins for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as security documents for ministries, departments and agencies of the government, banks and other blue chip companies.
According to the statement, with the new presidential directive, all existing memoranda of understanding and contracts on printing by other institutions or companies will not be renewed.
The statement added: “The Mint is the largest banknote and security documents specialist printing company in West Africa. However, its performance was rapidly dwindling in terms of both currency production and security documents prior to 2014.
“Under the chairmanship of the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, new targets were set, and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of The Mint, Mr. Abbas Umar Masanawa, recounts some of the achievements to include: zero importation of currency from 2014 to date, with attendant benefits of conservation of foreign reserve, revenue and employment generation, as well as safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty.”
The statement quoted Masanawa as saying: “The Mint has returned to profitability. From a moribund organisation with heavy losses, the company grew from a loss position of N14. 6 million in 2014 to a profit of N14. 3 billion in 2018. Turnover also grew from N17.8 billion in 2014 to N61.4 billion in 2018.
“Other achievements include enhanced production capacity, revenue diversification, reduced cost of production, institutionalisation of corporate governance, improved staff welfare and industrial harmony, among others.”
Adesina also said the Managing Director assured Nigerians that The Mint would justify the renewed confidence reposed in it by the president.
He quoted him further as saying: “As we are moving to the Next Level, and poised to boost national security and integrity, we will conserve scarce foreign exchange, improve revenue generation, create job opportunities, and boost acquisition/transfer of technology.”