Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has said the bank has the capacity and is willing to assist the Central Bank of the Gambia (CBG) to print the country’s legal tender.
Emefiele stated this in Abuja on Tuesday during a two-day visit by a delegation from the CBG, led by its governor, Mr. Buah Saidy.
The CBG had requested a possible partnership with the CBN to help it print its currency in a bid to tackle its to tackle acute currency shortages.
According to Saidy, the CBG’s reliance on its current printer, De La Rue of London, for its currency needs was expensive and unsustainable, noting that the bank spends about £70,000 to lift printed currencies from Sri Lanka to the Gambia.
Responding, Emefiele said Nigeria has the capacity to print Gambia’s currency, explaining that the CBN has a competitive advantage to undertake the currency printing for its fellow West African nation.
He added that the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting has 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 Nigerian 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 stand point 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.”