COVID-19: NCDMB cuts interest rate on NCI Fund loans, extends tenor

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In a step further to enable businesses survive the hard time thrown up by the Coronavirus outbreak, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB has rolled out fresh palliatives in the interest of beneficiaries of its Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI) Fund which it said took effect from April 1, 2020.

The palliatives include the reduction of the interest rate from 8 to 6 per cent per annum on NCI Fund loan, an extension of loan repayment and length of time for existing financial contract expiration, the Board said in a statement on Sunday.

According to the Board, under this palliative regime, “all running loans with outstanding tenor within 3 years will be extended by 6 months, while all running loan facilities with a tenor above 3 years will get extra 12 months tenor. Similarly, there will be moratorium extension on all running loan facilities under manufacturing, asset acquisition and contract finance with outstanding tenor not exceeding 3 years by 6 months and by 12 months for all applicable running loan facilities, effective April 01, 2020.”

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote explained that these palliatives seek to reinforce the various economic stimulus packages by the Federal Government to support businesses to overcome the difficulties created by the coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria. 

 He reaffirmed the Board’s commitment to continue to provide impetus to businesses in the oil and gas industry to surmount emerging operating difficulties in line with the Federal Government’s policy direction.

The Board said, “In addition to earlier measures by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to spur business continuity, particularly in the oil and gas sector, NCDMB has again rolled out fresh palliatives for beneficiaries of loans under the Nigerian Content Intervention (NCI) Fund.  The palliatives include a huge reduction of the interest rate (from 8 to 6 per cent per annum), extension of moratorium and tenor extension. These palliatives take effect from April 01, 2020.”

It enumerated the five loan products under the NCI Fund to include manufacturing, asset acquisition, contract finance, loan refinancing and community contractor financing. The Board, however, disclosed that there have been no disbursements yet under Community Contractor Financing to date.

According to the Board about 91 per cent of the US$200m NCI Fund has been disbursed to 26 beneficiaries and many of the borrowers have started repaying.  It indicated that the current success rate of the Intervention Fund is above 95 per cent.

“Since the COVID 19 outbreak and lockdown in Nigeria, NCDMB has continued to roll out measures to ensure resilience and business continuity in the oil and gas industry.  Just last week, the Board offered business advisory to Project 100 companies and other oil and gas service companies in Nigeria on how to navigate through these precarious times and remain resilient. The Board also directed NLNG to give priority to Project 100 companies with proven capacities in the Train 7 project.

“Much more than these, despite the lockdown, NCDMB also wrote to NLNG granting final clearance on Nigerian Content requirements and for the Train 7 contract to be signed and project to commence.

“Even on the fight against COVID19, the Board also donated ambulances and medical equipment to some states, the Board said.

Peace Obi

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