The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board has aside a 200-million dollar Nigerian Content Intervention Fund to boost participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas sector.
The Executive Secretary of the board, Simbi Wabote, disclosed this in an interactive session with newsmen at the corporate headquarters of the board in Yenagoa.
Wobote said that as part of its 10-year strategic plan, the board hoped to create over 3,000 jobs in the country, including indirect employment.
The executive secretary explained that since the Local Content Act was enacted in 2010, the Oil and Gas sector had witnessed growth in terms of fabrication activities locally.
According to him, prior to the enactment of the act, “out of the about 20 billion dollars, which the Industry spends in its annual activities, less than 3 per cent remained in the country”.
According to him after the implementation of the Act, the trend has been reversed with major chunk of industry budget spent in-country.
He explained that the aspiration of the board in terms of its 10 years strategic plan was to have up to 14 billion dollars out of the about 20 billion dollara spent within the country annually, adding that over five billion dollars was already achieved due to policies of the board.
The executive secretary pointed out that the critical success factor of the board had been the implementation of the Act itself.
Wabote said: “The Act has been very critical to the success we have achieved. Prior to now, we practised what we call poles in terms of local content implementation.”
Wabote further disclosed that one of the major impediments for most Nigerians in the Oil and Gas sector was high interest rates which between 15 and 26 per cent.
He said the NCDMB, working in partnership with stakeholders; the sector came up with the type of facilities that involved a large range of funding up to 10 million dollars with a single digit interest rate of only 8 per cent.
He said: “But aside from that we also have a facility for contract financing for those that have short term contracts to access up to $15 million at the rate of 8%.”
Wabote explained that for community contractors, they can access up to $20 million with an encouraging interest rate of 5% that can span up to five years.
He said: “This time you will be able to get loan because you access it through personal guarantors of the promoter or with people that work in the Ministry from grade level 12 and above or people that work in the bank.”
The executive secretary added that the facilities were not a grant or a national cake to share, but strictly for the purpose of business.”
Wabote added: “For anybody to access the fund, which is being managed by the Bank of Industry, such beneficiary must be a contributor to the fund.
“The fund is contributed by contractors that execute business in the oil and gas sector.”