Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, yesterday, said about $160 million has been disbursed in the past two years to develop capacity of indigenous oil and gas companies.
Speaking at the ongoing yearly, Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference and Exhibition, in Abuja, Wabote warned that the agency would clampdown on international and local oil companies failing to remit one per cent Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF), as stipulated by the law.
Citing some inconsistencies and default among players that accessed the NCD fund, Wabote said the agency would in the coming days hand over the defaulters to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a bid to recover the disbursed funds.
He noted that some of the oil firms were deliberately frustrating activities of the board and dragging the country back in terms of local content development.
He said the nation’s $200 million NCDF had assisted in the development of the capacities of local operating oil firms, who have already accessed up to $160 million, leaving $40 million in the fund.
Wabote noted that the agency has already become self-sustaining, adding that the firm would do everything possible to ensure that erring oil companies comply with extant regulations, especially on the fund.
While commending companies that have been prompt in the remittance of the fund, he said the Board would suspend necessary operational approvals for the defaulting oil firms.
According to him, the agency will not block or delay any project in the sector as that may affect the objectives of the board but would resist any attempts to drag the industry into importation.
Wabote disclosed that third party monitoring team has already been engaged to conduct a forensic audit that would reveal oil firms that were not making the mandatory remittances to the board.
The Executive Secretary added that the agency was considering refining options in the gas sector among numerous other opportunities in the sector, adding that a new modular refinery, an up-shoot of a partnership, would add to the number of the nation’s refineries by next year.
He equally disclosed that the agency has signed a pact with Agip Nigeria to set up a 25 megawatts power plant, to provide electricity to the industrial parks on completion and its headquarters complex, all on Bayelsa State.
The Chief Executive Officer of Marine Platforms, Taofik Adegbite, however, appealed to the NCDMB Executive Secretary to structure the payment of existing liabilities as it relates to the mandatory remittances or suspend fines till capacity of the debtor to pay is improved.