The minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, showered encomiums on Kofo Akinkugbe, the CEO of SecureID, Africa’s leading manufacturer of smart cards, as the company bagged GSMA certificate on Thursday, April 15.
Pantami who was represented by the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Garba Danbatta, at the event, said Akinkugbe has set a precedent for other Nigerians.
According to him, this is the first Nigerian meeting the requirement to receive this certification in the whole of Africa, and the third facility on the continent.
He said: “I am very happy and on behalf of the minister congratulate this company and to learn that they have been already certified by the Global System of Mobile Associations (GSMA).
The minister, however, urged Nigerians to patronize the company’s products which meet the same international standards like their counterparts abroad.
According to him, “We must patronise our own products produced to the same international standards by such companies. I think it is a testimony of the high standard that they have set in the way and manner they produce their solutions.
On her part, Akinkugbe explained that she invested a lot of resources and manpower to achieve the certification and urged her to continue to meet and exceed the standard for the achievement.
Commending the quest of honours, she said: “We are very happy to have the honourable Minister Isa Patani represented by the Executive vice chairman of the NCC, Danbata to have come to launch first of all the GSMA certification that we have just received and also to open and launch our digital solution.
“They went way around the factory. I think they saw that locally and in Nigeria the production of smart cards is possible at the highest quality.
“They were very impressed with what they saw and we took them round all the quality protocols and we also have them understand what the GSMA certification means, after doing that on the same cards.
“We then took them to the subsidiary of the digital company called SIB Digital to look at the several digital solutions that we have in our portfolio.
“We are very pleased and ours is a local company that will continue to preach quality, we will continue to show that in Nigeria, certain things are possible, and we are able to provide jobs for people.
“We are able to have the technologies initiated in Nigeria and we can only speak for all local manufacturers who have taken that investment to invest in the manufacturing company here to also be encouraged.”
When also asked about the SIB Digital, said: “The SIB Digital secure id smart card manufacturing industry, digital solution provider but we have the subsidiary that we have just created only focuses on digital solution able headed by digital or manager also he is there to give all the digital solution to the different sectors of the company.
“We basically focus on payment solutions and we also have electronic solutions for the company for the public sector as well.
“The government has seen it and much value that we are able to add is a thing we will obviously showcase to the government and say this thing can’t be done locally, and so they have seen it and then the rest things.
When asked to speak about the security aspect of the product, Akinkugbe said: ”Certification means that took place are as follows, logically all the security protocols are followed, and that is why we have certification.
“So, for instance, in the banking sector, we are certified by visa and Mastercard. It all comes with security protocols that we have to comply with, for the Sim cards we are also now certified by GSM also have security protocols that we deal with, but the thing is, in Nigeria, anyone that is certified by these international bodies basically are not different from any other certified company anywhere in the world.
“I believe very strongly that they are very good and have been utilized by operators like MTN and Globa.com they are the biggest operator’s, Airtel and 9mobile, they have more than 50 percent.”