While printing naira abroad, Nigeria is expected to print the Gambia’s currency.
The West African nation had requested Nigeria’s help to print its currency, the dalasi.
Governor of the Central Bank of the Gambia, Buah Saidy, had made the currency printing proposal when he led a delegation to the CBN on Tuesday.
Mr Saidy disclosed that his country was running low on currency and wants to learn how to manage their currency need by leveraging Nigeria’s wealth of experience.
He said the Gambia currently had an order for two years currency minting deal abroad but considering also minting from Nigeria.
Godwin Emefiele, the CBN governor, noted that Nigeria had a lot of capacity in currency printing, having been minting since the 1960s.
He assured Mr Saidy that the CBN would assist in printing the dalasi for the Gambia, adding that “we can be extremely competitive in terms of cost.”
However, an economist, Prof Lanre Olaniyan, from the University of Ibadan, urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to develop the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting’s capacity to meet all local currency needs before accepting proposals from other countries.
“I am aware that we have been printing the naira from outside. But we have the NSPM, which is supposed to do these things. If it is presently working, that is good for everybody.
“The proposal from the Gambia shows that we have the capacity to print our own currency independently and save some foreign exchange,” Mr Olaniyan stated.
He added, “It also sends signals to other countries that Nigeria is a place where you can do business and print your money.
“If we are able to deliver well on that proposal, other countries will come with similar proposals. It is a win-win situation for Nigeria as it will encourage us to earn additional revenue.”
A financial expert, Okechukwu Unegbu, also urged the CBN to strengthen the capacity of the NSPM to meet the country’s currency and other security printing needs.
Mr Unegbu, a past president of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, explained that such a proposal would have been heart-warming if the security printing company was still operating at optimal capacity.
He said, “We were in a position to print monies for other countries when the NSPM was operational, but over time, the place has been neglected.”