By Francis Sardauna
Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has admonished the federal government to compel government-owned institutions, agencies and private organisations in the country to patronise the nation’s premier printing and minting company, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting PLC, popularly referred to as the MINT.
The governor made the plea when he visited the headquarters and inspected the facilities of the company in Abuja, accompanied by the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Alhaji Abbas Umar Masanawa, and other key management staff.
Masari, in a statement by his Director General on Media, Abdu Labaran Malumfashi, said governments and institutions in Nigeria had no business patronising foreign nations for their minting and printing needs for currency and security documents considering the “state-of-the-art equipment” at the factory.
The governor also noted that it is in the economic and security interests of the Nigerian government to compel its institutions and agencies to patronise the MINT at all times for their printing needs.
He expressed confidence that with what is on ground by way of equipment and personnel, it was inconceivable that a better company could be found, even in foreign lands, that could do a better and cheaper job than the Nigerian MINT.
Masari said: “Given the equipment that the MINT has installed, I am absolutely confident that there is no job in its purview which this company would not do satisfactorily, I am certain of that.”
Earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of MINT, Masanawa, equally called on government to compel national institutions whose functions impact on national security and economy to domesticate their printing jobs in the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting PLC.
According to him, doing so will yield multiple benefits for the nation, such as boosting national security and integrity, engendering national pride and patriotism, improving national revenue generation, creating job opportunities, conservation of FOREX and boosting acquisition/transfer of technology, among others.
He declared that there was no minting or printing work that the MINT would not be able to undertake credibly, adding that the board of the company has seen to it that there are state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained and experienced staff that are second to none in Africa.
He said it is particularly of utmost importance for the government to realise the need for passport production to be domesticated in the MINT.