The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on Monday disclosed that it has so far disbursed $160 million out of its $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund) to qualified firms, as part of its efforts to provide accessible credit for Nigerian oil and gas service companies and community contractors with single-digit interest rate and one year moratorium. The fund, domiciled with the Bank of Industry (BOI), is meant to deepen local content development in the country and also help attract counterpart funding from offshore investors.
The Executive Secretary of the board, Simbi Wabote, who made the disclosure in Abuja at a media parley said the management also rejected 494 expatriate quota applications because there is no longer room to outsource jobs to foreigners in the oil and gas sector when there are Nigerians with sufficient capacity and capability to deliver to taste.
He said: “We are working closely to monitor the beneficiaries and ensure utilization of the loans for the stated purposes and repayment when due. The interest rate is eight per cent.
“Also on funding, we have launched our investment policy and we are currently evaluating a number proposals submitted to the Board using clearly set parameters”.
Wabote further revealed that the NCDMB, under his watch, has unveiled a 10-year strategic roadmap under a short, medium, and long-term targets to increase Nigerian content performance from 28% to 70% by 2027.
“The key rewards from the implementation of the 10-year roadmap are the creation of 300,000 jobs from industry activities and the retention of US$14bn in-country out of the US$20bn annual industry spend.
The NCDMB boss also read the riot act to those who have not remitted their levies to it to do most urgently as plans were afoot to involve the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in recovery of the debt.
“The debt recovery is a process. We’re not there yet to determine the amount and who the debtors are. But by November, we will know those owing us, the amount, those recalcitrant and those willing to pay”.
On technical capability, Wabote said the Board was spearheading the Project 100 Initiative, where 60 oil and gas start-ups have already been identified and will be nurtured for their incubation, maturation and growth into world-class service companies.
“This intervention would include capacity building, funding, and access to market.
“The Board has also commenced international certification programme for 20 marine personnel. The cadets are already onboard foreign vessels and would stay for 12 months, which would qualify them to be awarded the Certificate of Competence (COC), with which they can work in the Nigerian waters and overseas. The programme will address the deficit of trained cadets in the maritime and oil and gas industries and reduce the dependence on foreign personnel in the marine operations”, he added.
He revealed that the NCDMB will ensure the provision of equity investment to catalyse the establishment of 5,000barrels per day modular refinery by Waltersmith Refining & Petrochemical Company Limited in Ibigwe, Imo State and in the 12,000barrels per day Hydroskimming Modular refinery by Azikel Petroleum Limited at Obunagha, Gbarain, Bayelsa State.
“The Waltersmith refinery is on track for completion in May 2020 while the Azikel Refinery would be completed in 2021. We expect about 300,000 liters of diesel daily in addition to various volumes of naphtha, kerosene, and fuel oil from Waltersmith while Azikel will produce about 1.5million liters or 50 trucks of petrol daily, including 170,000liters of diesel, and other products.
“Both modular refinery projects have huge prospects for jobs creation, value retention, petroleum products availability and the development of in-country capability. They fit perfectly with our vision to serve as a catalyst for the development of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector”, he explained.