Uche Usim, Abuja
To deepen local content, the Governing Council of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has approved the expansion of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund from US$200 million to US$350 million.
NCDMB in a statement said the enlargement of the fund by US$150 million was part of the decisions taken at the recent NCDMB Governing Council meeting, which held virtually on June 16, 2020.
The meeting was chaired by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who is the Chairman of the Council.
The Council approved that US$100 million from the additional funds would be deployed to boost the five existing loan products of the NCI Fund, which include manufacturing, asset acquisition, contract financing, loan refinancing and community contractor financing.
Similarly, the Council also approved that US$20 million and US$30 million respectively should be deployed to two newly developed loan product types – the Intervention Fund for Women in Oil & Gas and PETAN Products, which include Working Capital loans and Capacity Building loans for PETAN member companies.
The NCI Fund was instituted in 2017 as a US$200 million fund managed by the Bank of Industry (BoI), engaged to facilitate on-lending to qualified stakeholders in the Nigerian Oil and Gas industry on five loan product types. The NCI Fund is a portion of the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF), aggregated from the one per cent deduction from the value of contracts executed in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. About 94 per cent of the NCI Funds have been disbursed to 27 beneficiaries as at May 2020. NCDMB has received new applications from 100 companies for nearly triple the size of the original fund.
Guidelines for the NCI Fund provide that beneficiaries of the Manufacturing Loan and Asset acquisition Loan can access a maximum of US$10million respectively. Also, beneficiaries of Contract finance Loan can access US$5million while beneficiaries of the Loan Re-financing package can access US$10million, with beneficiaries of the Community Contractor Finance Scheme limited to N20million.
The maximum tenure for all loan types is five years and applicants cannot have two different loans running simultaneously.
At the onset of the Fund, the applicable interest rate for the various loan types was pegged at eight per cent, except the Community Contractor Finance Scheme, which was five per cent.
However in April 2020 as part of NCDMB’s response to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Governing Council approved the reduction of the interest rate from eight (8) to six (6) per cent per annum for all four of the loan products. The Board also extended the moratorium for all loan products.