17 September 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – THE Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, working with five Nigerian banks have created a $5 billion fund for local contractors to draw from, and execute their projects.
The fund, known as ‘Shell Contractors Support Funding Scheme’ was created through a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed recently between the oil major and the five banks involved in the scheme.
The banks are First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Access Bank Plc, Fidelity Bank Plc, Standard Chartered Bank and Citi Bank.
At the official launch of the fund at the weekend, SPDC’s managing director, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, said his company would continue to support local vendors through the award of contracts and capacity development.
He said the five banks would contribute $1 billon each to the fund, while David L Ross Associates would be the technical partners.
“The scheme we are launching today is worth much more than $5 billion. So I will therefore expect that we stretch our delivery and performance far beyond what was achieved by the Americans when they landed on Mars.
“I want to see Nigerian contractors build the first floating production storage and offloading vessel in Nigeria. I want to see Nigerians undertaking daunting technological challenges,” noting that the skills abound in the country,” he said.
Sunmonu stated that with the scheme, financing of projects, which presents a major challenge to contractors’ growth and participation in the delivery of goods and services to the oil and gas industry, would be greatly reduced.
Speaking at the occasion, Executive Secretary, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Ernest Nwapa, said Shell was the leading international oil company-partner in implementing the local content law.
Managing Director of Skyward Resources Limited, Mr. Enahoro Eta, who responded on behalf of Shell contractors, acknowledged that many contractors had been frustrated in their bid to create value in the oil and gas industry because of finance.
Eta said the scheme was a ‘bold step’ that would support indigenous companies in the oil and gas sector.