By Clifford Ndujihe & Emem Idio
Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Engr Simbi Wabote, has said that the recently launched $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, NCIF, was targeted at deepening local content participation in the oil and gas industry of the country.
Wabote, who disclosed this in an interactive session with journalists, said that as part of its 10-year strategic plan, the board will create over 3,000 jobs in the country, including indirect employment.
Wabote said that since the Local Content Act was enacted in 2010, the oil and gas sector has witnessed tremendous growth in terms of what the country has been able to draw back and domicile locally.
According to him, prior to the enactment of the act, “Out of the about $20 billion, which the industry spent on its annual activities, less than three per cent originated from the country while the rest was taken out, but after the implementation of the Act, about five per cent has returned to the country.”
He explained that the aspiration of the board in terms of its 10 years strategic plan, was to have up to $14 billion out of the about $20 billion domiciled in the country annually.
The critical success factor of the board, he pointed out, has been the implementation of the Act itself.
“The Act has been very critical to the success we had achieved. Prior to now, we practised what we call poles in terms of local content implementation.”
Wabote disclosed that one of the major impediments for most Nigerians in the oil and gas sector is the cost of financing projects which was put at between 15 per cent and 26 per cent.
But working in partnership with the board he said, the sector came up with facilities that involve a large range of funding up to $10 million with a single digit interest rate of eight per cent.