The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has accredited Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc, Tripple Gee and Company Plc, Superflux International Limited, Euphoria Group Limited and Papi Printing Company Limited to print cheques and other debit paper instruments for the 23 banks in the country.
The CBN explained that the certification of the five firms was the outcome of an accreditation exercise of cheque printers in Nigeria that it jointly conducted with the MICR Technical Implementation Committee in line with the Nigeria Cheque Printers’ Accreditation Scheme (NICPAS) qualification criteria.
In a to circular to Deposit Money Banks and Cheque Printers, signed by CBN’s Director, Banking and Payments System Department, Dipo Fatokun, the apex bank stated that in line with its policy to domesticate cheque policy in the country, no foreign cheque printer was considered nor accredited to print for the Nigerian market.
This means that all banks are required to patronise only the five accredited companies for the printing of cheques, dividend warrants and any other paper based instruments that are cleared through the Nigerian Clearing and Settlement System.
Analysts point out that the cheque printing domestication exercise is part of the CBN’s contribution to the Federal Government local content enhancement policy.
Security printing firms print cheques, certificates, and other valuable documents. Until 2013, a significant percentage of such printers were foreign-based with businesses in the country executed via their intermediaries, known as brokers.
The CBN recently indicated its intention to review the Nigerian Cheque Standard and Nigeria Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme (NICPAS) documents (The Green Book) to ensure that the standard continues to be relevant in meeting its objectives.
The CBN, in collaboration with the Bankers Committee, introduced a codified cheque standard and a Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme in 2006, to facilitate an efficient Clearing system in Nigeria. Its core objectives are to promote efficiency in the clearing system through reduced reject rates, facilitate imaging technology and archiving, as well as to reduce Cheque fraud, by specifying the design and security features on the instruments.
The plan was to analyse some clearing instruments and related payment issues in recent years and review the mandatory and optional security features, as specified by the Nigerian Cheque Standard, to access their adequacies and continued relevance.
Besides, the CBN wanted to identify the technology that can further enhance the security features of cheques and enhance detection of fraud at minimal cost; as well as identify foreseeable changes in the global environment, which may be relevant to the update of this document and the cheque production processes.
Again, the CBN wish to identify the features/design that can enhance image technology /cheque truncation, as well as protect all parties in the cheque truncation regime; while also reviewing the cheque design, type and sizes