By Yemisi Izuora-Lagos
The Bank of Industry has commended the efforts of SecureID for being the first integrated card manufacturing firm in sub-Saharan Africa.
Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa who made the commendation in Lagos said the feat is a major pride for Nigerians, adding “The significance of this to Nigeria as a country is that we are making progress. I think we need to believe in ourselves. There is a lot that is happening very quietly in this country,” he said.
Olaoluwa added that by carrying out backward integration, the firm had ensured that all personalised smart cards that were hitherto imported into Nigeria were produced locally. “This is the kind of local production capacity that the BoI is trying to encourage in a number of areas. And I am happy that they have not only been able to manufacture locally but they have also established very smart and modern manufacturing technology through the use of robots in their operations.”
Olaoluwa, who said the BoI gave credit facility of N1.1bn to the firm, noted that the purpose of the tour was to see how the money had been used. “When you give customers a facility and they have used the facility very well, you will be very delighted as a banker. I am very convinced that this company is going to be a pioneer for a long time to come because this is a major investment,” he said.
The previous month, the bank had conducted a facility tour of a car manufacturing plant in Nnewi. The MD likened the SecureID card manufacturing business to the indigenous car manufacturing plant in Nnewi saying that the efforts of these indigenous companies would create more jobs and save Nigeria a lot of money in foreign exchange.
The Managing Director, SecureID, Mrs Kofo Akinkugbe, said the large population of the country had been the inspiration for the business.
She said, “We decided that Nigeria with its large population was the ideal market for a state-of -the-art card manufacturing plant. By manufacturing locally, we are saving a lot of money in foreign exchange since some of our raw materials are sourced locally.”
Akinkugbe, whose company emerged the Most Outstanding Business in Africa at the 2012 African Leadership Network Awards for Entrepreneurship, added that SecureID had the ability to manufacture all the SIM cards that the telecommunications companies in Nigeria needed as well as voter cards and national identity cards.
According to her, apart from creating additional 100 plus jobs in 2015, the plant also catered for clients in 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
SecureID pioneered the smart card supply and personalisation business sector and also helped in the step change of the payment system in Nigeria, helping to drive the cashless policy and financial inclusion scheme.