The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board says it has rolled out fresh palliatives for beneficiaries of loans under the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund in a bid to spur business continuity in the oil and gas sector. The NCDMB said it had reduced the interest rate from eight to six per cent per annum. According to a statement, the palliatives, which include an extension of moratorium and tenor, take effect from April 01, 2020.
The Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, said the palliatives were aimed at reinforcing the various economic stimulus packages by the Federal Government to support businesses to overcome the difficulties created by the coronavirus outbreak. 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 NCDMB said all running loans with outstanding tenor within three years would be extended by six months, while all running loan facilities with a tenor above three years would get extra 12-month tenor. It said there would be moratorium extension on all running loan facilities under manufacturing, asset acquisition and contract finance with outstanding tenor not exceeding three years by six months and by 12 months for all applicable running loan facilities.
According to the statement, the five loan products under the NCI Fund are manufacturing, asset acquisition, contract finance, loan refinancing and community contractor financing. The NCDMB said no disbursements had been done under community contractor financing. It said about 91 per cent of the $200m NCI Fund had been disbursed to 26 beneficiaries, adding that many of the borrowers had started repaying.
According to the statement, the current success rate of the intervention fund is above 95 per cent. The NCDMB said since the COVID 19 outbreak and lockdown in Nigeria, it had continued to roll out measures to ensure resilience and business continuity in the oil and gas industry. It said it had 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 said it also directed the Nigeria LNG Limited to give priority to Project 100 companies with proven capacities in the Train 7 project. The statement said, “Much more than these, despite the lockdown, the NCDMB also wrote to the 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 COVID-19, the board also donated ambulances and medical equipment to some states.”