The Bayelsa State Government will cooperate and support the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to succeed with its initiatives and implementation of the Nigerian Content Act, says Governor Seriake Dickson.
He spoke at the 2017 Succession Planning Workshop, organised in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) for its contractors, and described the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote as a competent oil and gas professional and worthy ambassador of the state.
The Governor charged indigenes of Bayelsa state and other oil industry stakeholders to take advantage of Board’s programmes, particularly the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund). He noted that access to funding is a major constraint to the success of most businesses, adding that “this special Fund with affordable interest rates is a wonderful initiative and I urge our oil and gas businessmen to take advantage of it.”
He assured that the state government will work with the Board, NAOC and other developmental partners to change the negative narrative of the state on insecurity and under development.
On the Board’s oil and gas parks scheme, one of which is being developed at Emeyal 1 in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Dickson stressed that the project was not in competition with the state’s industrial park venture, but a complimentary investment.
He also urged NAOC to ensure the patronage of oil and gas service companies owned by Bayelsa indigenes in its projects, particularly in the development of the Zabazaba deepwater project.
In his presentation, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB commended NAOC for building the capacity of Small and Medium Scale enterprises (SMEs) in the area of business continuity, maintaining that development of SMEs was a sure way of contributing to the growth of the economy.
According to him, “A well-managed enterprise running in perpetuity will ensure that the gains of local content practice are not reversed with the demise of the business founder.”
Dwelling on the NCI Fund, Engr. Wabote described it as the first funding arrangement dedicated for the growth of the oil and gas industry.
He restated that the size of the Fund is 200 million US dollars or about N72 billion, managed by the Bank of Industry (BOI). While urging stakeholders to take advantage of the Fund, the Executive Secretary explained that “loans under the manufacturing, asset acquisition, and project financing categories will have a maximum single obligor threshold of 10 million US dollars and attract eight percent interest rate per annum.” He added that “the maximum single obligor threshold for community oil and gas contactors shall be Twenty Million Naira only, with an interest rate of five percent per annum. The tenor for any facility shall not exceed five years.”
In his welcome address, Vice Chairman, NAOC, Mr. Massimo Insulla stated that the company had spent over $5.4bn to grow Nigerian Content in the last six years.
He added that the company was implementing a number of projects including the Zabazaba project, Okpai independent power project phase 2 and the on-going feasibility for the construction of a brand new 150,000 barrel of crude oil per day refinery. He listed other contributions by the company to include support for the refurbishment of Port Harcourt refinery, efficiency of the National Grid and alternative energy mix.