By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigerian Security Printing & Minting Company (NSPMC) to take over the production and personalization of all Nigerian E-passports and related documentation.
Special Adviser to the President on media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina in a statement in Abuja yesterday on said with the new directive, all existing memoranda of understanding and contracts on printing by other institutions/ companies will not be renewed.
NSPMC also known as The Mint, the company was established in 1963 with the objective of producing the nation’s currency notes and coins for the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as security documents for Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government, banks and other blue chip companies.
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.
Adesina said ”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.
”Mr Masanawa counts the blessings further: “The Mint has returned to profitability. From a moribund organization 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, institutionalization of corporate governance, improved staff welfare and industrial harmony, among others, ” he added.
The presidential spokesman said ”The Managing Direction pledged that The Mint would justify the renewed confidence reposed in it by the President, “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.”