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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Printed N1,000 Notes Worth N2.1 Billion Missing At Mint

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The board of directors of the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) met yesterday over the scandal that rocked the establishment where it was revealed that a whopping N2.1 billion of newly printed N1,000 notes have mysteriously gone missing.

The board meeting, chaired by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, decided to expand the investigation and audit the production of other currency denominations to ascertain the quantity of money that has actually gone missing over the years.

We had exclusively reported that an acting managing director, Ahmed Bamali, had been appointed to head the Mint company while Ehi Okomoyon, who was the chief executive, was asked to proceed on indefinite leave.

A source with insider knowledge of what transpired at the meeting said that the suspension of Okoyomon as managing director on an indefinite basis until all investigations have been concluded was reaffirmed.

The head of security at the NSPMC, Emmanuel Bala, has also been asked to go on compulsory leave by the board of directors of the company. The general manager, management services, Obi Igoban is expected to write him the letter of suspension today.

It was also gathered that the board faulted the suspended MD for failing to disclose to it that such amounts of money had gone missing even though the company had set up an internal investigation after a mint staff was arrested in Lagos for being in possession of unnumbered bank notes.

The board meeting, which reportedly started at about 10am, did not end until 3pm. Other than the initial audit report, the board also discussed routine and budgetary issues.

The CBN had to set up its own audit team, whose findings were put to the board yesterday, and a unanimous vote affirmed that Okoyomon should continue on indefinite suspension.

Part of the CBN audit team’s investigation is to unravel why the management of the Mint company has consistently refused to place Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) in its Abuja and Lagos factories, and why other security measures were deliberately set aside.

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