Peace Obi

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB has warned that it would hand over beneficiaries of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF) who have refused to comply with the repayment terms of the NCIF to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The Executive Secretary, NCDMB who on Monday revealed that $160m out the $200m intervention fund has been disbursed for the purpose of capacity building and support to indigenous businesses, however, noted that many companies that benefitted from the fund have failed to repay their loan.

Delivering the Nigerian Content Seminar opening address at the Nigerian Oil and Gas Strategic Conference and Exhibition, with the theme ‘, Promoting Investment and Collaboration in Nigeria’s oil and Gas Industry’, Wabote said that “Our major objective today is to utlise this seminar to zero-in on key provisions of the NOGICD Act to reinforce understanding, provide clarifications, and use it to serve as an additional training outlet for those that are new to the industry or ignorant of the law.”

Providing an update on the NCIF fund, the ES said, “I am happy to tell you that the $200m Nigerian Content Intervention Fund with the Bank of Industry has actually been very successful. Today, we probably have about $40m left because $160 billion has been accessed by Nigerian companies to build capacity.

“However, you can’t believe that some companies are not paying and they are doing business in the oil and gas industry.  They include the 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 give them to EFCC because they are the agency responsible to recover such fund. That will happen in the next one or two months, I can assure you,” Wabote said.

Speaking further, the ES noted that the Board in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BoI) has through the fund supported project promoters, the establishment of modular refineries and exited appropriation to become a self-funding agency of government.

“The NCDF has also enabled us to progress the construction of our new headquarters building and industrial parks, provide support for Project 100 beneficiaries, funding human capital development programmes and deliver other activities.

Calling on the industry players and stakeholders to comply with the provisions of Section of 104 of the NOGICD Act, Wabote said that a recent forensic audit carried out by the Board through independent accounting firms revealed various types of contraventions.

“We have issues of non-deduction of statutory fees, non-remittance of the amount deducted at source and misinterpretation of the provisions as contained in section 104. Let me also use this opportunity to commend those who have conscientiously complied with the provisions of section 104.

“I wish to highlight that the Board is determined to fully recover all outstanding obligations and ensure that only complying companies gain from the industry. Because when we get to that stage when we hand those companies over to the authorities, we will not entertain any approval request from any of these companies be it expatriate quota approval, contract renewal approval.

“We are gradually inching into that stage, hence, we will deploy all legal instruments in this regard including suspension of all clearances and cutting off non-compliance companies from industry tender and bidding processes.”

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