[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Executive Secretary, Nigeria Content Development Management Board (NCDMB), Mr. Simbi Wabote, said the 200m dollar Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF) will facilitate its strategic initiative to achieve 100 per cent local fabrication of modular refineries.
Wabote disclosed this at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the implementation of the $200 million NCIF, on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the aim of the fund was to ensure local content development which had become a moral burden to the sector and country at large.
He added that the Board had keyed into the drive to discontinue petroleum products importation in Nigeria, adding that the board had started discussion with relevant stakeholders
“We have commenced discussions with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), local fabricators to make this a reality.
“ We have set aside areas in our oil and gas scheme for practical training on operations, maintenance and running of modular refineries as a sustainable business model and for fabrication of the units,” he said
He added that efforts were on to ensure that the Dangote Refinery, when operational, would be managed and maintained by Nigerians and Nigerian companies.
He said, “The Dangote Refinery project needs all the support it can get to make it succeed, both in the ongoing project execution phase and with subsequent operational phase.
“We have agreed to provide list of Nigerian companies with capacities for patronage by Dangote Refinery for the development of the project to meet cost schedule, timelines.
“Similarly, a compendium of anciliary businesses required to sustain operations on the refinery would be developed for interested entrepreneurs, so that the 650,000 barrels per day refinery promise can be met, while maintenance operations phase of the plant would be supported by capabilities within Nigeria.”
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resource Dr Ibe Kachikwu, also said the Federal Government intends to set a deadline for the local fabrication of oil vessels and Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessels,(FPSO)
He said Nigeria cannot continue to award contracts, but must set deadlines on when to localise most of the vessels and projects in the country.
“Specifically, areas dealing with vessel fabrication and offshore platforms, FPSO, we must set a benchmark for when we can exit.
“No country in the world has been able to achieve this by just sitting around and giving contracts. We must be able to see that in 10 years time all FPSO in Nigeria would be localized.
“We must begin to drive that.” He said
The Minister lamented that over the years, Nigerian companies had found it difficult competing with their counterparts from jurisdictions where funding is accessible for 5 per cent or less as compared to our market where bank lending rates hover around 20 per cent.
Also speaking, Managing Director of the BoI, Mr. Olukayode Pitan, said the fund would be used to increase capacity in the industry, generate employment, create linkages that would affect and lead to the growth of the oil and gas sector.
“The fund can be used to acquire assets for those who have contracts. The single digit on that kind of facility it would not exceed $10 million and the interest rate on it would not exceed eight per cent.
“Also we have taken into account community contractors because this fund is trying to ensure that they also are carried along and it even make it much easier.
“For community contractors they can access up toN20 million and the interest on that would not exceed five per cent per annum.” He said
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the fund, provide by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), is designed to support development of capacity for Nigerian expertise in oil and gas sector.
The Fund, to be administered by Bank of the Industry (BOI), will be disbursed on a single digit interest rate of not more than eight per cent within a period of five years to qualified local players in the industry.