FG plans new finance scheme to bridge oil sector funding gaps

Damilola Shittu – Abuja

The Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), has announced plans to introduce a new financing scheme to address the gaps witnessed under the Bank of Industry (BoI) funding initiative for companies operating in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Speaking in Abuja, Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, stated that companies selected under the newly-launched ‘Project 100’ programme, would be the initial beneficiaries of the funding that would be provided.

According to him, a number of lapses had been observed in the existing funding structure for companies operating in the petroleum industry and this new financing scheme would address these gaps.

However, Wabote, who was speaking at the launch of the Project 100, noted that studies conducted during the selection of the beneficiaries of the Project 100, revealed that access to finance did not feature among the top challenges hampering indigenous oil servicing companies.

According to him, the leading challenges identified by the companies surveyed include lack of access to technology, issues of licensing, restricted access to the markets among others.

He further noted that the benefitting companies in the Project 100 would enjoy both financial and non-financial interventions, noting that in the financial aspect, the NCDMB would provide relevant linkages for the provision of actual financial/pecuniary interventions to beneficiaries for well targeted initiatives that promote local content development.

He said, “Financial linkages entail provision of access to finance and opportunities for mergers and acquisitions.”

On the other hand, Wabote explained that the non-financial intervention would involve the provision of pecuniary intervention, such as strategic business/technical support, access to market, among others, to beneficiaries to promote local capacity development.

“Non-financial interventions included policy interventions, access to markets, capacity building, business insight, research and development,” he maintained.

The NCDMB boss disclosed that the project was a brainchild of Kachikwu, who had given a charge during his early days as a minister.

He said the 60 successful companies in the first tranche, emerged from the over 8,000 service companies registered on its free web platform, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System, NOGIC JQS, where it later discovered that only about 2,500 companies were active.

He explained that the benefitting companies were from high impact oil and gas service providers, geosciences and seismic services, marine, drilling and engineering services. He said a number of companies could not make the cut due to their upload of poor quality data during the selection process; infractions against the NCDMB Act; lackadaisical attitude towards submission of data and inactivity on the free NOGIC JQS platform.

He advised prospective companies hoping to make the next batch of companies to be selection for the Project 100, to observe the trend and be spurred on by the successful companies to produce and submit accurate data on the NOGIC JQS platform.

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