Board to Disqualify NCDF Payment Defaulters from Oil Contracts
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Oil and Gas Companies that default in the deduction and remittance of one percent of the value of contracts they executed in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry will henceforth be disqualified from participating in tenders for new contracts.
This warning was given by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and also indicated plans to conduct a forensic audit of the industry to track and recover due payments on the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) held by some companies.
The NCDF was established by Section 104 of the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act of 2010 and provides that one percent of every contract in the upstream sector of the Nigeria Oil and Gas industry shall be deducted at source and paid into the Fund.
The Board manages the Fund and employs it for projects, programmes and activities directed at increasing Nigerian Content in the Oil & Gas industry.
Speaking in Lagos at the Stakeholders Forum on the NCDF Remittances, the Executive Secretary of the Board, Engr. Simbi Wabote stated that some companies were defaulting in their deduction and remittance on contracts they executed.
He noted that the Forum provided a window for all covered entities to understand the channels for paying the one percent NCDF to the Board before the audit, adding that there were no exemptions for players in the upstream sector.
He charged companies to make the remittance to the NCDF TSA Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stressing that NCDMB does not operate an account in any commercial bank.
Giving a background to the Fund, Mr Wabote explained that the NCDMB focused the early years in collections, putting in place the Operating Model for utilization of the Fund, establishing the NCDF Advisory Committee for efficient governance of the Fund and creating confidence and trust of industry stakeholders.
According to him, “The Board opened up the Fund for utilization from 2013, based on the approved operating model that segmented 70% of the Fund to financing Commercial interventions and 30% for Developmental initiatives and activities carried out by the Board on behalf of the industry.
“Under Commercial interventions, the Fund was leveraged to provide 30% Partial Guarantee to commercial banks for loans granted to oil and gas service companies towards financing project execution, asset acquisition or facility upgrade. It also provided 50 percent interest rebate on performing loans. Beneficiaries of the Fund include Ladol, Starz and Vandrezzer.”
Speaking further, the Executive Secretary stated that Developmental Interventions covered Capacity Development Initiatives (CDIs) including training programmes, NCCF administration, establishment of NOGICJQS, establishment of oil and gas parks, direct equity participation by the Board in high impact projects as well as compliance monitoring activities carried out by the Board on behalf of the industry
The introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy by the Federal Government and the need to deepen accessibility of the Fund for critical activities, he said, created the need to re-engineer the Operating Model of NCDF
He noted that “to enhance accessibility to the Fund, the Board in July 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bank of Industry (BOI) to establish the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund).
He confirmed that the Board was at the verge of finalizing the processes for release of the initial $100 Million (N31 Billion) to BOI for the pilot phase. Once this was concluded, he said, the Board will conduct a roadshow and publicise the requirements for accessing it.
He stated that only contributors to the Fund with manufacturing proposals in the oil and gas industry can approach BOI for the NCI Fund facility. The Fund has a single obligor limit of $10 million and tenor of up to 5-10 years on the basis of 8 percent interest rate.
In his presentation, the General Manager, Finance and Accounts, NCDMB, Mr Obinna Ofili explained that remittances of the NCDF has to be made in the currency of the contract, notably, Naira, USD, GBP and EUR.
He confirmed that though the Act provided that deduction should be based on awarded contract sums, the Board adopted the invoice model to make it convenient for stakeholders.