On 1 January 1973 the Naira was introduced, replacing the use of Pounds, Shillings and Pence monetary system from the British Colonial era. The Naira consists of Bank Notes and Coins. Many Nigerians probably do not know how, where and who prints our national currency.Interestingly, the Nigerian currency has evolved through various stages of transformation. Till 1959, the West African Currency Board was responsible for issuing currency notes. Prior to the West African Currency Board establishment, the use of Trade by Barter to the use of cowries and Manilas (money made of bronze or copper) were the means of exchange for goods and services.Responsible for the printing of our currency, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc whose proven track record of business success is second to none in West Africa has successfully developed a strong vision that acts as its compass.The company which has 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, is the largest banknote and security documents specialist printing company in West Africa.With its headquarters in Abuja, NSPM has two ultra-modern factory complexes in Abuja and Lagos with adequate capacity and technologically up-to-date machinery. The two broad divisions under which production is carried out are the Currency Division and the Security Documents Division.Prior to 2014, the Mint Company was given targets after its performance was dwindling in terms of both currency production and security documents. However, according to the Managing Director of the company, Mr Abbas Masanawa, the printing agency has witnessed turnovers, which has returned the company 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.After his appointment on August 28, 2018, Mr Abbas Umar Masanawa, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company promised to bring on board initiatives that would put the company on the global map.
Born August 7, 1969, the Katsina state born, graduate of Agriculture Economics from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1992 recently, facilitated an approval by President Muhammadu Buhari which allows the Nigerian Security Printing & Minting Company (NSPMC) to solely produce and personalize all Nigerian E-passports and related documentation. A feat no Managing Director in the history of the printing company has achieved. The renewed responsibility will end every existing memorandum of understanding and contracts on printing by other institutions and companies, while it also saves us lots in terms of Naira and kobo.
Other achievements of the company, under Mr. Masanawa include enhanced production capacity, revenue diversification, reduced cost of production, the institutionalization of corporate governance, improved staff welfare and industrial harmony, among others.
The company is assiduously working on moving to the Next Level, and it has positioned itself to boost national security and integrity. Chief among its aim is to conserve scarce foreign exchange, improve revenue generation, create job opportunities, and boost acquisition/transfer of technology.”Masanawa is supported by a group of highly skilled personnel, who have made sacrifices for the resurrection of the once-upon-a-time moribund company. At the banknotes production section of the company, there are up-to-date machines, with high-tech electronically controlled machines, sophisticated inks and highly skilled personnel. The MINT manufactures its offset and intaglio printing plates here in Nigeria while the sophisticated production machines and key raw materials are imported from diversified but highly reliable dealers overseas.According to the Company, their production process in the security document division usually starts with the highly skilled and innovative graphic artists who are not only fully conversant with the latest techniques and materials to counteract forgery and adulteration. This knowledge combined with information on the latest international counterfeiting methods enable the company’s designers to continually upgrade the security features and materials to ensure that our products are constantly ahead of potential counterfeiters. The company uses modern local letter-assembly facilities to add the required text matter to these designs.The numbering of the documents which in itself is a complex operation, involving the need for absolute accuracy, is available in a variety of styles. Finishing is carried out in controlled conditions in line with the importance The MINT attaches to the security and integrity of its products.The MINT, in 1988, also acquired a majority interest in Pacific Printers Nigeria Ltd. (PPNL) a company that has been engaged in commercial printing since 1935. The acquisition was aimed at complementing the capacity of the company in the production of non-security printed materials.The company prides itself as the technology leader, trusted partner, and preferred provider of products, services, and solutions in all markets. In fact, it says it has acted with intercultural excellence and entrepreneurial drive.Staying true to its mission, the company, under Mr. Masanawa has been passionate in delighting its customers. It has provided innovative and superior Security Solutions for the benefit of Stakeholders.Security is the company’s principal asset and therefore, forms the cornerstone of its operations. In recognition of this overwhelming importance of security, the company has continually refined its security requirements for product features, procedures, skills, personnel training and orientation. Security features of banknotes, cheques, drafts and other security documents are periodically updated to impede counterfeiting and forgery. To further enhance the security facilities, the company has an in-house forgery detection unit.The in-house administration of security of the premises and products is equally detailed, strict and total. Both physical and Materials’ security of the premises is ensured through the use of the most up-to-date electronic surveillance equipment, supported by adequate and well-trained security staff.To the leadership of the company, Accountability is key and must not be compromised. Materials Security safeguards the security of all products through every stage of manufacture. Work is counted in and out of departments by a combination of machines and manual checking. Waste generated during production is sent to a centralized section where it is kept under strict security conditions until the order is completed and a balance struck.Such waste is destroyed and representatives of government, banks and other customers are free to attend the destruction of waste materials if they so wish.
Olamide Adeniji is a member of the editorial team of TheScript Newspaper