By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a stop to printing of Nigerian international passports outside the country and directed that the production and personalisation of all Nigerian e-passports and related documentation shall be the sole responsibility of the Nigerian Security Printing & Minting Company (NSPMC).
Popularly 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.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina conveyed the president’s directive via a statement.
He stated that with the new directive from the President, all existing memoranda of understanding and contracts on printing by other institutions or companies will not be renewed.
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.
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.”
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.”