The Federal Government will inaugurate the $200m (about N61bn at the official exchange rate of N305 to a dollar) local content intervention fund today (Thursday).
It was gathered that the $200m Nigerian Content Intervention Fund would be directed at increasing local content in the oil and gas industry and would be used for projects and other activities in the sector.
Officials at the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources told our correspondent on Wednesday that the initiative was in pursuant of the Business Environment and Investment Drive Component of the #7BIGWINS.
The #7BIGWINS is a document of the ministry that focuses on the short and medium-term priorities targeted at growing the nation’s oil and gas industry between 2015 and 2019.
The officials explained that the NCIF sought to enhance access to the Nigerian Content Development Fund through financing products that could meet the diverse funding needs of the Nigerian oil and gas service providers.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Mr. Idang Alibi, said the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, would carry out the inauguration/signing of the $200m NCIF in Abuja.
The ministry’s officials further explained that the investment drive component of the #7BIGWINS highlighted the fact that the Nigerian oil and gas sector presented a unique opportunity to gain access to a substantial and growing energy resource base across the full value chain within Africa’s largest economy.
In the document obtained by our correspondent from the ministry, the FMPR stated that the business environment/investment drive component would ensure that there was a marked shift towards improved governance and transparency, a renewed approach to solving the Niger Delta militancy issues, deregulation of the downstream sector as well as policy, fiscal and regulatory reforms in the sector.
“This is expected to encourage an influx of potential investors into a portfolio of high-value projects of about $100bn with healthy and diversified returns,” it said.
It added, “The objective is to create a commercially oriented and profit-driven business environment that encourages increased private sector investment; open up the sector to full private sector participation and reduce government dominance and monopoly in the downstream and midstream sectors.”