• Friday, March 01, 2024
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SecureID builds smartcard manufacturing unit in Lagos

SecureID builds smartcard manufacturing unit in Lagos

Nigeria’s SecureID has commissioned the first Europay MasterCard and Visa (EMV)-certified smartcard manufacturing plant in Lagos. Omobola Johnson, minister of communication technology, described the plant as one of the “most sophisticated” smartcard production units in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Smartcards with embedded chips are critical to our digital existence. Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards, biometric identity cards, debit and credit cards used extensively and they are becoming part of our personal and corporate staple,” Johnson said.

According to Kofo Akinkugbe, CEO of SecureID, the plant would locally produce SIM cards, payment cards and secure identity cards for telecommunications companies, banks and public and private industries, respectively. It is expected to have an annual production capacity of 200 million. Once completed, the Lagos plant would be the first world-class EMV-certified smartcard manufacturing plant in sub-Saharan Africa.

There are 150 million active SIM cards, 110 million biometric ID cards and 15 million credit and debit cards in Nigeria, according to Johnson. With heightened financial inclusion schemes, more bank cards and ID projects would be rolled out leading to a double-digit growth, she said.

Read also: BIP: BoI pumps N1.1bn on local card production

The Bank of Industry (BoI) has said it is committed to providing $6 million (N1.1bn) to support Nigeria’s smartcards manufacturing industry. This is a part of broader move to support backward integration plans that will facilitate the emergence of profitable local manufacturers within Africa’s largest economy.

Rasheed Olaoluwa, managing director, BoI, said this during a facility tour of SecureID Limited in Lagos, explaining that the bank’s continuous support of the manufacturing sector was hinged on its potential to spur growth and create many jobs for the citizenry. “Manufacturing in Nigeria is taking a new edge. I am delighted at what I have seen today. SecureID Limited is the first integrated manufacturing company in Nigeria and Africa. What we witnessed today also happened in Nnewi recently at Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Plant where cars are manufactured in the country rather than just assembling the parts,” he said.

“We are witnessing a successful backward integration of activities in the card industry through local production of cards.

“The company has established capacity and smart manufacturing techniques. As a customer of our bank, we have supported the business and this shows that the facility has been effectively utilised,” he said.

At current capacity utilisation levels of 70 percent and a potential for producing about 100 million cards every year, the manufacturing plant can provide, at least, 350 new jobs in the country.