Ecobank, Fidelity Bank Plc and six other leading banks in the country have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Total Upstream Nigeria Limited on $7.5 billion Nigerian Contractors' Initiative. The six other banks include Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, GT Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Standard Chartered Bank and Access Bank Plc.
Under the arrangement, the accredited banks would specifically finance Total's local contractors and there will be domiciliation of payments to the banks. Managing Director/Chief Executive, Total, Mr. Guy Maurice, said the essence of the initiative, is to bridge the funding gap for the company's local contractors which includes vendors and suppliers.
According to Mr. Guy Maurice the MOU provides for sustainable funding relationship between the selected banks and Total's indigenous contractors, adding that, the initiative is line with the Nigerian local content laws.
Also speaking at the event, Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Jibril Aku, said the programme is quite laudable, noting that, Ecobank is pleased to have been selected as one of the participating banks. Aku explained that the banking finance programme is being put together by Total to effectively manage its value chain, including suppliers and distributors. According to him the whole essence is how to make the local contractors play more active role in the oil and gas sector through sustainable funding.
Aku assured that Ecobank will remain a major player and add value to the initiative. In his words "this is a good initiative and we are pleased to have been selected as one of the banks after a rigorous process. We have long relationship with Total and some of our customers work with them. I can assure that we will add value to the programme.
The key challenge now is how to make a success of this programme, so that we can continue to develop and grow new customers coming to the bank," he stated.