Chuks Isiwu 20 July 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, and the Bank of Industry, BOI, launched Tuesday in Lagos a $600 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, NCI Fund.
It is a pool made available by the NCDMB to meet the funding needs of manufacturers, service providers and other key players in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
The ceremony in Lagos featured the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU, between NCDMB and BOI, spelling out the conditions for the operation of the Fund.
According to the NCDMB, the Fund, sourced from the Nigerian Content Development Fund, NCDF – created by Section 104 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Content Development, NOGICD, Act – will be accessible to eligible players at a single digit interest rate.
Speaking at the event, Acting Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Mr. Patrick Obah, stated that the Bank of Industry will serve as the custodian and manager of the Fund and that the collaboration between the two government agencies is driven by BOI’s expertise and specialisation as a development bank created to speed up the industrialisation of the Nigerian economy.
“This Fund was motivated by the desire to re-engineer the operations of the NCDF, increase access and grow indigenous participation in the oil and gas industry,” Obah said.
He also disclosed that the Fund will be utilised to finance existing and intending manufacturers, oil and gas service companies and other original equipment manufacturers in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Emphasising that NCDMB will continue to work at expanding the capacity of local companies, Obah invited industry operators to take step toward accessing the Fund.
Also speaking, Acting Managing Director, BOI, Mr. Waheed Olangunju, described the institution of the NCI Fund as a welcome development, expressing hope that the partnership between his bank and NCDMB in its administration would touch the lives of Nigerians.
He also expressed optimism that the Fund would drive industrialisation in the country.
Olagunju stated that the target of the fund would be small, medium and large scale enterprises as he maintained that the coming of the fund would contribute in gradually reducing the nation’s dependence on external sources for materials and expertise.