The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, is set to issue a reviewed guideline that will help companies in the oil and gas sector access the Nigerian Content Development Fund, NCDF.
The NCDF was established by Section 104 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act of 2010 and has grown to over $600 million in the last seven years.
The Act provides that one percent of every contract in the upstream sector of the Nigeria Oil & Gas industry shall be deducted at source and paid into the Fund and it also gave the Board the mandate to manage the Fund and employ it for projects, programmes and activities directed at increasing Nigerian Content in the Oil & Gas industry.
Speaking at a media parley in Yenogoa, Bayelsa state, today to mark his 100 days in office, the Executive Secretary, ES, of the Board, Simbi Wabote, deeply regretted challenges faced by companies in accessing the fund.
Wabote said, with scarcity of foreign exchange at the disposal of companies, and aparthy among commercial banks in extending loan facility to firms, it has become imperative for the agency to adopt fresh mechanism to ensure it is easily accessed.
To enhance accessibility to the Fund the Board in July 2016, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bank of Industry to establish the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF).
The NCIF, provides long term facilities to contributors to NCDF on the basis of all-in 8 percent interest rate.
But so far, the ES disclosed that three vendors, Ladol, Starz and Vandrezzer, have been able to access the fund which he described as unfortunate.
Moving forward, Wabote said, baseline mapping and review of the Boards past activities will help it develop a 5 year roadmap that will align with federal governments oil and gas roadmap launched last year by president Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, the Act has not been effectively implemented and as such the review will help identify such gaps, which include ways to reduce contracting circle among others.
The ES also said new oil and gas park schemes to enhance service delivery in the industry are going on at designated areas in Imo, Bayelsa, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.
He explained that the Developmental Intervention also covered Capacity Development Initiatives (CDIs) including training programmes, NCCF administration, establishment of NOGICJQS, direct equity participation by the Board in high impact projects as well as compliance monitoring activities carried out by the Board on behalf of the industry
On completion, the parks will generate 20.000 direct and indirect jobs.
The Board is also planing Research and Development, R and D fair to showcase innovations and breakthroughs by Universities and firms that International Oil Companies that take advantage of.
He also said the Board is working to extend its monitoring and oversight to the Mid and Downstream sectors of the industry.
He called for media and other stakeholders support to enable the board achieve its objectives.