FirstBank, SecureID raise hope on newly launched card plant

WITH the launch of SecureCard Manufacturing Plant by smartcard supply and personalization firm- SecureID Limited, one its major financier, FirstBank Nigeria, said it is optimistic that the new and first polycarbonate plant in Africa would boost backward integration of the smartcard manufacturing process. 

   The ultra-modern plant, which focuses on polycarbonate card body production and high security designs, came on the heels of SecureID’s first personalisation plant in 2006.

  But the lender expressed confidence that using advanced technology to personalize imported smartcards for end users across different sectors of the economy is a welcome development. 

   The SecureCard Manufacturing plant has capacity for up to 200 million cards per year.

  The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Secure ID, Mrs. Kofo Akinkugbe, who lauded the feat, said it is another level of backward integration in card manufacturing and distinguishes the company from a perso bureau, which only creates uniqueness by graphical and chip personalization. 

   Having now completed the new EMV-certified plant, SecureID can manufacture national IDs, payment cards and SIM cards of any specifications and standards, among numerous others. 

   The plant is certified by MasterCard, Visa and Verve for all kinds of high-end security cards production and uses “Special Security Design” software to design unlimited security features that could be used for any ID documents, including currency note.  

   Meanwhile, Akinkugbe disclosed at the launch that the facility equally opened up opportunities for entrepreneurship, as about 75 percent of raw materials for the smartcards are made from petrochemical products and could be sourced locally. Also, the company is 100 percent Nigeria-owned and uses 95 percent local workforce.

   She further noted that Federal Government’s presence in the commissioning of the facility underscored policy fundamentals of “local content, employment generation, import substitution, local added value, industrial renaissance and technology advancement of the current administration.

   According to Akinkugbe, “of significance is also the fact that we have actively sought and successfully repatriated a number of very smart young Nigerians with the requisite technical skills, thus helping to reverse the brain drain in a very sensitive area.” 

   She further disclosed that the world-class smartcard facility was set up in collaboration with the global leader in the industry, Gemalto.

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