Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company

Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company

Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited

The Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited (NSPM) is the body responsible for producing the money Nigerians use every day. It is the pillar of Nigeria’s sovereignty behind all the secure documents that make up the identity of a legal citizen and is at the core of Nigeria’s financial system, ensuring that the money her citizens hold is real and safe.

In this article, we will delve into the complete intricacies of the NSPM and shed light on the institutions whose work touches the lives of every Nigerian. 

History of The NSPM

Established in 1963, the NSPM is a government-owned entity responsible for the printing of currency notes, minting of coins, and production of security documents such as banknotes, identification cards, checks, certificates, ballot papers, etc. 

Since its inception, the NSPM has undergone a series of trials native to Nigerian culture. However, in recent times, NSPM has become a symbol of trust and precision in Nigeria. The institution has proven to be a reliable ally in ensuring the integrity of the national currency, maintaining economic stability, and safeguarding against counterfeiting. 

In a report by This Day News, it was noted that thanks to the NSPM, not a single Nigerian currency had been imported since 2014.” 

Timeline of the NSPM 

1963: NSPMC (Mint) was established as the largest banknote and security documents specialist printing company in West Africa. 

1970s: NSPMC begins full-scale currency production, allowing Nigeria to print its banknotes domestically, reducing dependence on foreign sources.

1980s: NSPMC expands its services to include the production of essential security documents, diversifying to cater to the growing demand for passports, certificates, and identification cards. 

1987: NSPMC initiates a partnership to source raw materials locally and establish Tawada Limited, a company focused on producing security inks in Nigeria. A Memorandum of Understanding is signed on June 19, 1987, between NSPMC Plc (60%) and SICPA S.A. of Switzerland (40%) to create Tawada Limited. Tawada Limited begins production of high-quality security inks. 

2007: Production of the Nigerian e-passport is outsourced to the Iris Corporation of Malaysia due to NSPMC’s inability to meet the demand. 

2014: Under the chairmanship of the new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, NSPMC decides to modernize and refurbish its operations.

2018: NSPMC invests heavily in high-tech currency printing equipment, staff training, research, and development. The company adds new production lines in Abuja and a state-of-the-art digital print line for security document production in Lagos. Some 2.6 billion banknotes were produced, a significant increase from an average of one billion banknotes in 2014.

2019: The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) prints 20% of its electoral materials for the general election at NSPMC. 

Over the decades, NSPM expanded its capabilities and product range. It transformed from a currency and coin producer into a broad security printing and minting institution.

This expansion enabled NSPM to serve not only Nigeria’s monetary needs but also the demand for secure documents. The organization now plays a significant role in producing security documents for various government agencies, including the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), among others. 

General Significance of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company 

NSPM stands as proof of the significance of government ownership and control over essential elements of a nation’s economy and security. Here we’d take a closer look at NSPM’s significance to the country:

Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited

Economic Stability

NSPM’s role in currency management is integral to maintaining economic stability. By producing authentic and secure currency, NSPM helps prevent counterfeiting and instills confidence in Nigeria’s financial system. This, in turn, attracts investments, fosters economic growth, and bolsters the nation’s overall health.

Security

NSPM’s production of documents, such as passports, certificates, and ID cards, is grounded in the principle of safeguarding identities and rights. As a government entity, NSPM ensures that these documents are tamper-proof, protecting individuals from identity theft and fraud.

Sovereign Control and Accountability

The fact that NSPM is a government-owned institution reinforces Nigeria’s sovereign control over its currency and critical security documents.  

International Reputation

NSPM’s role as a government-owned entity has earned it international recognition as a trustworthy partner.  It symbolizes Nigeria’s self-reliance and determination to protect its economic interests and secure its citizens. Other countries often seek its expertise in security printing and minting, further solidifying Nigeria’s global standing.  

Economic Contribution

 NSPM’s activities generate revenue for the nation. It operates as a revenue-generating government entity, supporting the government’s financial stability. 

The Functions of the Nigerians Security Printing and Minting Company 

The company offers a diverse array of products and services that include security documents, government services, and more. Here we will take an in-depth look at the functions and offerings of the NSPM.  

Printing of Currency Notes 

At the heart of NSPM’s services is the production of currency notes. It performs this function on behalf of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and ensures that every banknote is a genuine representation of value and incorporates intricate security features to prevent counterfeiting. 

Printing of Security Documents in Nigeria 

NSPM specializes in the production of a wide variety of security documents, including: 

-Certificates: The company produces all certificates, particularly academic, birth, death, and marriage certificates. These certificates are printed with security features embedded that prevent forgery, cloning, or counterfeiting. 

– Identification (ID) Cards: NSPM is a trusted partner in creating secure identification cards, such as National ID Cards and driver’s licenses. 

– Secured Letterhead: The Mint produces secured letterheads that help offices protect communication flow within and outside an organization. 

– Examination Papers: The Mint prints randomized examination papers that can be personalized to each candidate. Randomization can be achieved at high-volume print and eliminates examination malpractice on-site. 

– Stamps: The Mint produces highly secured and traceable stamps embedded with different characteristics, the authenticity and origin of which can be ascertained. 

– Electoral Materials: The Mint produces election materials for the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Independent Electoral Commission in various states in Nigeria. 

– Labels: Labels (like stickers) can be used to display information about contents, prevent tampering, or indicate usage. Firefighters, police, and airline operators all use security labels to prevent indiscriminate usage of their equipment or instruments. 

– Professional Seals: NSPM produces secure and traceable seals that provide authentication, approval, and credibility to documents when affixed. 

– Real Estate Documents: NSPM prints real estate documents on the finest security papers, which are embedded with modern security features that prevent forgery and make fakes easy to detect. These documents include certificates of occupancy, rights of occupancy, deeds of assignment, etc. 

Passports: NSPM is entrusted with the responsibility of producing Nigerian passports, which are vital travel documents. These passports undergo a comprehensive production process, including: 

How does NSPM print the Naira?  

The process of printing Nigeria’s national currency is a complex and highly secure operation managed by the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC). 

 In this section, we will shed light on the steps involved in manufacturing and safeguarding the integrity of the Naira: 

Step 1. Design and Engraving

Currency printing begins with meticulous design and engraving. Talented artists and engravers create intricate designs, including portraits, symbols, and security elements. These designs are digitized, allowing for precise reproduction. 

Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited

Step 2. Plate Production

Engraved designs are used to create printing plates. Each plate corresponds to a specific denomination and design. These plates are made from hardened steel to ensure durability. 

Step 3. Ink Preparation

Specialized inks are mixed to precise specifications. These inks are designed to resist fading, wear, and counterfeiting. For the naira, the manufacturing of security inks is done by Tawada Ltd.  

 Step 4. Printing Process

The printing presses at NSPM use advanced technology to apply ink to the currency paper. The process involves multiple passes, with each color applied separately. This meticulous layering creates vibrant and detailed banknotes. 

Step 5. Security Features

During printing, security features are incorporated, including watermarks, microprinting, holograms, and color-shifting ink. These features are strategically placed to make counterfeiting extremely difficult. 

 Step 6. Quality Control

After printing, every banknote undergoes a rigorous quality control process. This includes checks for dimensions, alignment, color accuracy, and security feature integrity. 

Step 7. Cutting and Packaging

Once approved, the printed sheets are cut into individual banknotes. These banknotes are then bundled, counted, and prepared for distribution to financial institutions.

Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited

Stakeholders, Regulators, and Partners of the NSPM    

NSPM’s collaboration with various government agencies in Nigeria plays a pivotal role in ensuring the nation’s economic success, and efficient governance. 

Here we will discuss how NSPM collaborates with financial regulatory and government agencies: 

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 

The collaboration between NSPM and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is at the core of the nation’s monetary operations.  

NSPM is the primary entity responsible for printing and minting currency notes and coins on behalf of the CBN (the authority). This collaboration ensures the efficient issuance and distribution of currency throughout Nigeria. The CBN currently holds 89.59% of the total shares in the NSPM. 

Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) 

The Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) collaborates with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on matters of policy development, regulatory compliance, asset evaluation, and strategic planning. 

The BPE holds a significant stake in the NSPMC, owning approximately 9.62% of the company’s shares.  

This partnership ensures that NSPMC adheres to government policies, explores opportunities for privatization or public-private partnerships, and operates efficiently while contributing to Nigeria’s economic growth and national security. 

De La Rue

De La Rue, is a UK-based security printing company, holding a minor stake of approximately 0.79% in the NSPMC. This ownership interest signifies the international involvement and partnership of De La Rue with NSPMC, potentially reflecting collaboration in certain aspects of currency production, security printing, or related services.

Federal Ministry of Finance

NSPM works closely with the Federal Ministry of Finance to manage the financial aspects of currency production and coin minting. This collaboration encompasses budgeting, financial reporting, and compliance with fiscal policies. 

Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS)

NSPM is a key partner in supporting the Nigerian Immigration Service’s mission to issue secure passports. NSPM’s production of biometrically enhanced passports contributes to national security and facilitates international travel for Nigerian citizens. 

Educational Institutions

NSPM collaborates with educational institutions to produce secure academic certificates. This partnership ensures that educational certificates issued by Nigerian institutions are not only authentic but also tamper-resistant, enhancing the credibility of Nigerian qualifications on a global scale. 

How does NSPM contribute to the National Security of Nigerians?

NSPM plays a pivotal role in safeguarding Nigeria’s national security by providing critical services that protect the nation’s financial system, identities, and official documents. Here’s a comprehensive look at how NSPM contributes to national security: 

Currency Security

NSPM’s responsibility for printing currency notes and minting coins is paramount to national security. By producing genuine and secure currency, NSPM helps prevent counterfeiters and ensures the integrity of Nigeria’s monetary system.  

This NSPM incorporates state-of-the-art security features into currency notes, coins, and security documents to counteract these fraudulent activities. 

These features include,  

  • Holograms: Holographic images are a visually powerful deterrent to counterfeiters due to their striking and intricate appearance. 
  • Microprinting: This refers to exceptionally small text that is hard to replicate using standard printing equipment. 
  • Ultraviolet (UV) and Infrared (IR) Inks: These are special inks that remain invisible to the naked eye but reveal hidden security features when exposed to either ultraviolet or infrared light. 
  • Color-Shifting Ink: This type of ink changes its color when tilted, adding complexity to the reproduction process and making counterfeiting more difficult. 
  • Watermarks: Watermarks are highly detailed patterns or designs embedded into the paper or material, becoming visible when viewed under direct light. 
  • Biometric Data: Secure documents, like passports, now incorporate biometric data, such as fingerprints and facial recognition features. These biometrics are exceptionally difficult to forge. 

Border Security 

NSPM’s production of biometrically enhanced passports is a critical component of national security. These passports contain advanced security features and biometric data, making it harder for unauthorized individuals to obtain fraudulent travel documents. 

 This not only enhances border security but also safeguards Nigeria’s international reputation. 

Identity Protection 

NSPM’s production of secure identification cards, including national ID cards and driver’s licenses, aids in protecting citizens’ identities. Tamper-resistant features on these cards deter identity theft and fraudulent activities. 

Counterfeit-resistant features in these documents, such as biometric data and holograms, make it exceedingly difficult for identity thieves to impersonate individuals, protecting citizens from financial fraud and personal harm 

What are the Economic Impacts of the NSPM? 

In Nigeria’s economy, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited (NSPM) plays a crucial role that goes beyond its main tasks of printing currency and making coins.  

 Its impact reaches various economic areas, making it an important institution for the nation’s overall prosperity. Let’s take a closer look at NSPM’s economic significance. 

Currency Supply, Management, and Inflation Control

NSPM is the primary entity responsible for producing Nigeria’s currency notes and coins. By ensuring a steady and reliable supply of currency, NSPM supports the functioning of the nation’s financial system. 

Thereby ensuring that prices remain relatively stable and affordable for consumers. 

Employment Generation

NSPM is a significant employer in Nigeria. Its operations provide jobs to a diverse workforce, including skilled printers, engravers, security experts, and administrative personnel. This contributes to reducing unemployment and poverty, thereby enhancing economic well-being. In 2021, the NMPC boasted of having an over 1000 all-nigerian workforce.

Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited

Revenue Generation

NSPM operates as a revenue-generating government entity. It generates income by producing currency, secure documents, and related services. These revenues contribute to the government’s finances, supporting public expenses in various sectors, such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure. 

Foreign Exchange Savings

Nigeria has not imported currency since 2014. The local production of currency notes and coins reduces the need to import these items, leading to foreign exchange savings. This conservation of foreign reserves is essential for economic stability and sustainability. 

Facilitating Financial Transactions

Secure identification documents, such as bank cards and employee IDs, play a critical role in financial transactions and commerce. Counterfeit-resistant features protect against fraudulent activities. 

Conclusion… 

 In summary, the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company Limited (NSPM) is an irreplaceable institution at the heart of Nigeria’s financial and security landscape. The NSPM is more than a printing and minting company; it is a guardian of Nigeria’s economic and security interests. 

We hope with this article you have been able to understand its significance to the everyday Nigerian, and how its products and services, affect the country and the world at large.  

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