NCDMB, NEXIM sign $30m MoU on sector retrenchments

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In a bid to curb oil sector retrenchments in Nigeria, the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board and the Nigerian Export-Import Bank on Wednesday signed a $30m working capital and capacity building fund to support oil and gas services firms.

Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, and Managing Director, NEXIM Bank, Abba Bello, signed the funding agreement at the Abuja office of the Nigerian content monitoring agency.

Wabote said the Oil Producers Trade Section, Independent Petroleum Producers Group and Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria had raised concerns over funding challenges confronting oil services firms, as this had made most of the companies to consider downsizing their staff.

He said, “The OPTS and IPPG had at some point raised before the NCDMB the inability of most indigenous contractors to provide services to them due to challenges of funding.

“This was especially when we got struck by the COVID-19 pandemic. I recall receiving several letters particularly from IPPG trying to see how we can support this.”

He added, “I also recall receiving similar letters from PETAN when the COVID-19 struck and most of their members had nothing to do anymore.

“This is because companies were shut down and their members were threatening on how to downsize and take Nigerians off their payrolls.

“Based on this, we then set up a committee to say how do we support these firms with the provision of working capital.”

Wabote noted the roll-out date for the fund would be July 1, 2021 and that the fund size of $30m would be boosted by matching funds of the same amount to be provided by NEXIM in naira (to be converted at prevailing official exchange rate).

“The scheme shall cover loans for working capital support and capacity building, oil service contracts, invoice discounting including acquisition of low-end equipment to service short-term contracts/service obligations,” he stated.

 

He said the target market comprised Nigerian oil service providers which belonged to a professional association in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and commercially viable with a business relationship with either an international oil company or a major Nigerian oil firm.

“Maximum amount that can be borrowed by a single obligor is $1m or its naira equivalent at the official exchange rate prevailing at the time of borrowing,” Wabote said.

He added, “Tenor shall be up to 12 months for working capital loans and up to three years for capacity building loans with moratorium of up to 12 months.

“The applicable interest rate shall be five per cent per annum all-in for dollar-denominated loans and eight per cent all-in per annum for naira-denominated loans and the rate shall be fixed throughout the tenor of the loan.”

The NCDMB boss said the maximum processing time would be 21 working days from the date the applicant provided all required documentation, as all applications would be through the web.

He said NEXIM would develop and avail a dedicated portal to facilitate the process, with access given to designated NCDMB staff for monitoring and necessary functions.

Wabote stated that each party to the scheme (NCDMB and NEXIM) would bear 50 per cent credit risk on loan repayment and be entitled to equal share of interest income each month, after provision of 0.5 per cent for capacity building of operators of the scheme.


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