The Nigerian Security, Printing and Minting, (NSPM) Plc, said it can handle electoral material printing for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and has appealed to the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, to award the contract to them.
Managing Director and Chief Executive of NSPM, Abbas Umar Masanawa, started this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after meeting with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday, assuring that the Minting company has the capacity to handle all election materials for the 2019 elections.
This is coming on the heels of the outcry against printing of the nation’s passports in Malaysia instead of awarding the contract to NSPM, to patronize indigenous companies.
Critics say, the passport being a sensitive and important document should not be taken outside the country, adding that if the nation’s currency could be handled locally, it was pointless printing outside.
Masanawa who said already NSPM management has met with the INEC Chairman to discuss the matter, expressed optimism that the minting company would considered for the job.
He said, “We are saying we have the capacity to compete with others, if INEC will gives us the opportunity, we have the capacity to do 100 percent of not only the ballot paper, all the electoral material in 2019.
“We are pleadingwith INEC, we are trying to see how they can be able to give us, we have been talking with them. We say instead of INEC to take it somewhere else outside the country, it is something that we can be able to do.
“We have the capacity to print in Nigeria 100 percent of all the electoral requirements come 2019 and we believe INEC will give us the opportunity to prove that we can be able to do it.”
Masanawa said that the Mint management met with the INEC Chairman last week, and that INEC promised to support them.
“Mint is a goldmine and what we have achieved is not to be compared with what we are capable of achieving, we believe we will be able to do better over time,” he said.
The NSPM Boss said he would bring to bear his private sector experience as the Managing Director into the public sector.
“What you find in public sector is quite different from what you find in private sector the mint is so lucky to have some of us from the private sector and we are bringing our experience from the private sector,” he said.