Buhari orders local production of Nigeria’s E-Passport, assigns task to company

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Buhari orders local production of Nigeria’s E-Passport, assigns task to company

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the production and personalization of all Nigerian E-passports and related documentation should be solely carried out by the Nigerian Security Printing & Minting Company, NSPMC.forty-three days after the 2019 budget was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Government has yet to release funds to Ministries, Departments and Agencies for the implementation of capital projects. Buhari had on 27th May signed the 2019 budget of N8.91tn, made up of capital expenditure of N2.09tn, recurrent expenditure of N4.07tn, statutory transfers of N502bn, fiscal deficit of N1.92tn and special intervention of N500bn. Top officials of the government confided in our correspondent that as of the close of work on Tuesday, no amount had been released for funding of capital projects contained in the 2019 budget. One of the officials attributed the delay in releasing fund for capital projects to various factors, some of which include the procurement process, the non-constitution of a cabinet and the low approval limit of Permanent Secretaries. The source said, “You will recall that the budget was signed over a month ago by the President and as was expected, funding of projects particularly those that are critical to the developmental objectives of the government ought to have started. “However, this has not been the case, because MDAs have yet to get their funding for the implementation of capital projects. “Part of the reasons could be that the cabinet members have not been appointed and this is crucial to the release of funds for MDAs.” [READ ALSO] Traffic: Sanwo-Olu opens Lekki toll-gate to motorists When contacted on reasons for the delay in releasing fund for capital projects, the Director of Information in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Hassan Dodo, said he had no information on the enquiries from our correspondent.

His directive was contained in a statement signed and forwarded to DAILY POST by his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, on Thursday.

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, CBN, as well as security documents for ministries, departments and agencies of government, banks and other blue chip companies.

According to the statement: “With the new directive from the President, all existing memoranda of understanding and contracts on printing by other institutions/ 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 CBN 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.

Speaking, Masanawa said: “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 the confidence reposed on 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.”