The Federal Government has sold its 21 percent stake in the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The instrument to transfer 12.69 billion Federal Government’s shares in the NSPMC to the apex bank was signed by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Director-General of the Bureau Public Enterprises (BPE), Alex Okoh, on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is also the Chairman of the National Council on Privatization (NCP), said the sale was to create a synergy between the public and the private sectors.
“Security printing has taken new dimensions; it is no longer what it used to be. As a matter of fact, there are those who think that today there is more of technology than merely security printing.
“If you look at some of the cards that are being printed today, that in the chips are not just security they are actually technological assets.
“So, there are new assets, there are new dimensions and there are new ideas and it’s just the private sector that can really be at the cutting edge of technology and innovation,” he said.
Osinbajo noted that over 140 publicly-owned companies had been privatised in the past 30 years, explaining that government’s divestment of its interest in the companies was to bring in the needed expertise to run them
“Government should stick to its regulatory role and its incentivizing role and allow the private sector to do business, allow the private sector to take the risk where possible,” Osinbajo added.
In his reaction, Emefiele, said the capacity of the mint has increased, adding that it now produces all the currency that is needed in the country and also in the West Africa region.
“The mint capacity has been expanded to where it has ideal capacity that can produce for other ECOWAS countries.
“We intend to embark on aggressive marketing to see to it that not only produces for itself but also produces for other important stakeholders that may require its services in the area of currency printing,” Emefiele said.