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Board floats $200m to spur Nigerian industries

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has released $200 million loan as intervention fund to spur the economy and encourage local industries.
The package was unveiled at a capacity building workshop tagged, 'NCDMB and the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund',  it organised for Energy Correspondents in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital.
The Executive Secretary of  NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, who was represented by Mr. Isaac Iyalah, the Director, Finance and Personnel Management, said that about 45 applications had been received in respect of the loan.
While 11 applications have been approved, he noted that $11 million had also been released to the qualified beneficiaries.
 “The Nigerian Content Intervention Fund is a basket of funds created outside NCDMB. Recall that one per cent of all contracts awarded in the oil and gas sector is deducted by NCIF, which is being managed by the board, to see how the intervention fund can be used to support local companies to enhance their growth and development.
“The $200 million NCIF is a pivotal plank of NCDMB that is set up with the responsibility to implement and enforce provisions of Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010. It is the practical expression of NCDMB's efforts to institutionalise financial support for indigenous services companies operating in the oil and gas industry."
He noted that proper operations and utilisation of the fund would help reverse the unhealthy foreign dominance in the sector.
The financial cover of the NCIF, he explained, is a comprehensive one, as it deals with contract financing for Nigerian oil services providers, contract financing for oil and gas community contractors, and contract and loan refinancing for servicing companies that already have facilities with Nigerian banks.
According to him, the fund will empower the community contractors who, before now, are constrained by staggering amounts required to compete favourably, win and execute profitable contracts on offer by different oil companies and also empower them as agents of wealth creation.
He added that the beneficiaries would have a repayment period of over five years, at eight per cent interest rate.
Wabote explained that the fund would serve as a social, as well as economic development tool, that would create sustained impact in boosting local manufacturing, create jobs to enhance local technical capacity, as well as igniting economic growth in the local communities of the Niger Delta and Nigeria, in general.