Authorities of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has announced the setting aside of the sum of N76billion as intervention fund to support the growth and development of the indigenous companies in the oil and gas sector.
According to the NCDMB, though over 45 applications from indigenous companies have so far been received to access the fund, the sum of $11million has been approved for disbursement to 11 applications approved so far.
The executive secretary, NCDMB, Mr Simbi Wabote, who made this known in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, during a capacity building workshop for energy and business correspondents, titled, ‘NCDMB and the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund,’ said the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund is a basket of funds created outside NCDMB.
Wabote, who was represented by the director, Finance and Personnel Management, Mr Isaac Iyalah, said the fund is a basket of other funds created outside NCDMB. ‘‘Recall that one per cent of all contacts awarded in oil and gas sector is deducted by NCIF which is being managed by the board to see how intervention fund can be used to support local companies to enhance their growth and development.
“The $200m NCIF is a pivotal plank of NCDMB that is set up with the responsibility to implement and enforce provisions of Nigerian oil and gas industry content development act 2010. It is the practical expression of NCDMB’s efforts to institutionalise financial support for indigenous services companies operating in the oil and gas industry.”
He noted that proper operations and utilisation of the fund would help to reverse the unhealthy foreign dominance in the sector by empowering local businesses to thrive.
He explained that the financial cover of the NCIF is a comprehensive one that deals with contract financing for Nigerian oil service providers, contract financing for oil and gas community contractors and contract and loan refinancing for services companies that already have facilities with Nigerian banks.
The fund, according to Wabote, will empower community contractors who before now were constrained by staggering amounts required to compete favourably, win and execute profitable contracts on offer by different oil companies and also empower them as agent of wealth creation.
He added that the beneficiaries would have the repayment period of over five years at eight per cent interest rate.
The ES explained that the fund would serve as a social as well as economic development tool that would create sustained impact in boosting local manufacturing, create jobs to enhance local technical capacity, as well as ignite economic growth in the local communities of the Niger – Delta and Nigeria at large