The Federal Government of Nigeria has launched an intervention fund with an initial value of $200m to support local oil and gas firms in the country.
Speaking on the development on Thursday, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed that the intervention fund is part of measures to improve access to low-cost credit for oil and gas firms operating in the economy.
He added that the Nigerian Content Development Fund will be financed through the allocation of one per cent of the value of all contracts awarded in the upstream oil and gas industry,
The petroleum ministry also said that the new fund would offer finance to energy firms setting up manufacturing facilities or acquiring assets such as oil rigs.
“I would like to see this fund going to cutting-edge, tech-driven businesses,” Kachikwu told a gathering at the fund launch in Abuja.
He said, “The essence of the funds is to help galvanise Nigerian experts who want to invest in various areas but lack the funds to enter the industry.
“This $200m will ginger everybody to begin to see how to expand the funds. My goal is to expand the funds to $1bn and after the launch today, we would have to set up a team to work internally to first of all get to the BoI to get their counterpart support for the funds.”
The minister called on the Bank of Industry to work with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board to raise the local content intervention fund from the current $200m (N61bn based on the official exchange rate of N305 to a dollar) to $1bn (N305bn).