CBN to start assisting Gambia to print currency, says Emefiele
The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said that the bank is willing to assist the Central Bank of the Gambia (CBG) to print its legal tender.
Emefiele said this in Abuja on Tuesday during a two-day visit by a delegation from the CBG, led by its governor, Mr Buah Saidy.
This was in response to a request by the CBG for a possible partnership to tackle acute currency shortages among other currency management challenges in the country.
Saidy informed the CBN governor that relying on its current printer, De La Rue of London, for its currency needs was expensive and unsustainable.
He explained that it costs the bank about £70,000 to lift printed currencies from Sri Lanka to the Gambia.
In response, the CBN Governor assured his visitors that the bank had extremely competitive advantage to undertake the currency printing for Gambia, adding that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting had a lot of idle capacity to satisfy the demand of the CBG.
He said, “I note your point on currency management. The Nigerian mint was set up in the early 1960s and we’ve been producing our currency since the early 60s and we have a lot of idle capacity to ensure that instead of you going to Europe or other countries, you will be able to benefit from our ideas
“Our colleagues will take you to the security printing facility. Our colleagues that came in from Liberia two months ago were fascinated by the kind of facilities we have at our security printing and minting facility and I am sure that you will also enjoy them.
“And I am sure they will follow you back to the Gambia to see how they can help you to structure your economic order quantities so we can also be of assistance in printing your currency.
“And I can assure you that we can be extremely competitive if only from the standpoint of logistics and freight from Europe but it’s just going to be a few hours from here to the Gambia and the rest of them.”
The CBG governor also noted that one of the purposes of the visit was to benefit from the CBN’s vast experiences on how it had successfully regulated the financial system and sought assistance in the areas of information technology, modernisation, cyber security, forex shipping and management, among others.
Emefiele in response, attributed the successes to the support which the apex bank had enjoyed from the National Assembly.
He said, “On the issue of the CBN independence, I thank you for the kind words. But I think the point is that we thank our own parliament. Our parliament has been extremely supportive of the CBN.”
He therefore advised the CBG to work with its parliament to create laws that would provide the independence needed.
Emefele further stated that the apex bank was not sparing any effort to address issues of supply management to ensure economic growth.
He added that the government was targeting at least 35 per cent reduction in importation through ongoing investments in fertiliser and petrochemical plants.