The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Simbi Wabote, has said the recently launched $200m Nigerian Content Intervention Fund is targeted at deepening local content participation in the oil and gas industry in the country.
Wabote, who made this known on Monday at a news conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, also said that as part of the NCDMB’s 10-year strategic plan, the board hoped to create over 3,000 jobs in the country, including indirect employment.
The executive secretary explained that since the Local Content Act was enacted in 2010, the oil and gas sector had witnessed tremendous growth in terms of what the country had been able to draw back and domicile locally.
Wabote said, “Prior to the enactment of the Act, out of about $20bn, which the industry was spending in its annual activities, less than three per cent remained in the country, while the rest was taken out.
“But after the implementation of the Act, about five per cent has returned to the country. The aspiration of the board in terms of its 10-year strategic plan is to have up to $14bn out of the about $20bn domiciled in the country annually.”
He added that the critical success factor of the board had been the implementation of the Act itself, noting that before now, the board practised what he described as ‘call poles’ in terms of local content implementation.
Wabote added that one of the major impediments for most Nigerians in the oil and gas sector was the cost of financing projects, which he put at between 15 and 26 per cent.
He stated, “But working in partnership with the board, the sector came up with the type of facilities that involve a large range of funding up to $10m with a single digit interest rate of only eight per cent.”