WorldStage Newsonline– The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is set to blacklist firms that consistently defaulted in the remittance of one per cent deduction on every contract awarded, according to its Executive Secretary, Mr Simbi Wabote.
Speaking at the Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference in Abuja with the
theme of the conference is: ‘‘Promoting Investment and Collaboration in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas Industry”, Wabote said it was worrisome that some oil and gas firms had consistently defaulted in the remittance of the one per cent deduction.
NCDF is one per cent of every contract awarded to any contractor, sub-contractor, alliance partner or any other entity involved in any project, operation activity or transaction in the upstream sector of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Indus try.
The money will be deducted at source and paid into the NCDF account.
Wabote said that such companies should be ready to face the full wrath of the law.
“As a further step to blacklisting the defaulting oil companies, in order to serve as a deterrent to others, the Board is carrying out a forensic audit to determine the actual number of defaulters.
“It will determine how much is being owed, and how much they are expected to have paid, and the report will be forwarded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) for possible prosecution and debts recovery.
‘‘You cannot believe it that some companies, including International Oil Companies (IOCs), indigenous firms, contractors and operators are not paying these funds.
“We are getting close to where we will hand them over to the relevant prosecuting agencies.
“To enhance accessibility to the fund, the Board in July 2016, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of Industry (Bol) to establish the NCIF,” he said.
Wabote said the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIF) provides long term facilities to contributors to NCDF on the basis of all-in eight per cent interest rate.
“The NCIF is a component of the NCDF to meet the funding needs of indigenous manufacturers, service providers and other key players in the Nigerian oil and gas industry,” he said.
Wabote also said that Nigerian companies have so far accessed 160 million dollars out of the 200 million dollars NCDF to build capacity.
He said the 200 million dollars NCDF domiciled with the Bol had been a very successful scheme with only 40 million dollars left.
According to him, the fund has helped the agency to support investment in collaborating with Bol and other stakeholders with the roll out of the 200 million dollars NCIF.
He also said that the fund had helped to establish modular refineries, while the board had been able to exit appropriation to become a self-funding agency of government.
‘‘When I took on this responsibility, I discovered that NCDMB was getting one per cent deduction from oil and gas contracts from operators.
“But it was still relying on the Federal Government for appropriation, and I felt something was not right and I said we cannot work that way.
“So, in line with the former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources’ mandate that all agencies must be self-funding, we decided to key into that vision.
“By 2018, we exited appropriation. At the moment, they don’t discuss appropriation for NCDMB in the National Assembly.
“We only go through the approval process with the Federal Government and the National Assembly for whatever money we need to spend.
“So, if we are self sustaining, we must go out there to recover to the last penny, all monies owed the board, otherwise, we may get to a point where we will not be able to pay our salaries or carry out our mandate as a regulator,” Wabote added.