Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has expressed the bank’s willingness to assist the Central Bank of the Gambia to print its legal tender.
According to Emefiele, the CBN has a lot of idle capacity to assist its Gambian counterpart in printing money to help them save costs.
The CBN governor made the statement in Abuja on Tuesday during a two-day visit by a delegation from the CBG, led by its governor, Buah Saidy.
He was responding to a request by the CBG for a possible partnership to tackle acute currency shortages among other currency management challenges in the country.
Intimating the CBN governor more, Saidy noted 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.
Responding, Emefiele assured his visitors that the CBN had an extremely competitive advantage to undertake the currency printing for the Gambia, adding that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting had a lot of idle capacity to satisfy the demand of the CBG.
The CBN governor 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.
“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, cybersecurity, forex shipping, and management, among others.
In response, Emefiele said the successes were a result of the support the Nigerian apex bank had enjoyed from the National Assembly.
“On the issue of the CBN independence, I thank you for the kind words. But I think the point is that we thank our parliament. Our parliament has been extremely supportive of the CBN,” Emefiele said.
He recommended that the CBG work with its parliament to create laws that would provide the independence needed to function maximally.