Abuja — The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has released N7.2 billion for disbursement to local oil entrepreneurs with a view to boosting their participation in the oil business.
Speaking at the 7th Practical Nigerian Content (PNC) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, said the Bank of Industry (BoI) would disburse $200m to qualified local industry players.
"In the last one year, we have launched the $200m intervention fund for our Nigerian oil and gas service providers that are contributors to the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF).
"The intervention fund has all-in single digit interest rate of 8 per cent for loans extended to Nigerian oil and gas service providers and all-in single digit interest rate of 5 per cent for loans extended to community contractors," he explained.
Wabote, who called for a coordinated approach to the implementation of local content in other areas of the economy, said there was the urgent need to adopt an integrated approach and establish a clearinghouse that would coordinate the implementation.
"The is the need to have a clearinghouse for the implementation of local content initiative in the country so that it is not haphazardly done. There is the need for coordination so that we can have focus and generate the needed jobs for Nigerians."
He said the Board has visited Dangote Refinery where steps were agreed upon to involve more Nigerian companies with capacities for patronage by Dangote Oil Refinery in the development of the project to meet cost and schedule timelines.
He further explained that a compendium of ancillary businesses required to sustain operation of the refinery is under development to support the operational phase of the huge 650,000 barrels per day refinery.
Wabote also said stated that the Board has begun the systematic expansion of operations to cover midstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry with it becoming a part of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) business activities.
He submitted that the country could attain economic growth and provide the much-needed job by relying on oil and gas as the commander height of her economy saying, conscious and deliberate efforts must be mad to explore other areas such as construction sector that has the capacity to generate massive jobs over a short period of time.
"We have been at the forefront of advocacy for the utilization of in-country capacities beyond oil and gas industry. We have local capacities in manufacturing of pipelines, cables, paints, etc. that can be utilized in the construction and power sectors of the economy.
"Our service providers are also being encouraged to venture into the construction sector to utilize their equipment and project delivery expertise," he stated.
Speaking, the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Etekamba Umoren, decried the continued absence of oil companies from the Niger Delta.