The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) had said that it had so far disbursed the sum of $160 million of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund to oil companies for the development of modular refineries, and capacity building, amongst others.
The NCDMB, on Monday added that the amount disbursed was out of the $200 million of the said fund, chiding the international oil firms operating in the country for not appreciating the in-country capacities that had been developed over the years in the country’s oil and gas sector and urged the IOCs to take time and evaluate the capacities in Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, in his address on Nigerian Content Seminar at the ongoing Nigeria Oil and Gas conference in Abuja, said that since he assumed office, he was always faced with the challenges of how much was in the coffers of the NCDMB for local content development in Nigeria.
According to him; “when they (journalists) ask, I give them the exact figure and these days I don’t face that question anymore.
“But then people also started asking, ‘what did you do with this fund?’ One, I am happy to tell you that the $200 million capacity development with the Bank of Industry has actually been very successful.
“Today we probably have about $40 million left because $160 million has been accessed by Nigerian companies to build capacity. So I don’t worry about people asking me what are you doing with the fund”.
Wabote, however, maintained that a lot of firms that benefitted from the fund were defaulting in terms of paying back what they got or collected.
“We cannot believe that some companies are not paying but they are doing business in the oil and gas sector. These include IOCs, indigenous companies, contractors and operators. We are getting close to where we will hand them over to the authorities.
“We are almost there where when we compile how much they are supposed to have paid and how much they owe, we will give them to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) because they are the agency responsible to recover such funds. That will happen in the next one or two months,” Wabote said.