By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu has urged the Bank of Industry (BOI) to ensure that the 200 million dollar Nigeria content Intervention Fund (NCIF) was carefully utilized for the growth and development of the sector.
Kachikwu disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at the signing of the Mou of the Fund for programmes and activities that would drive local content in the sector.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NCIF is one aspect of 7BIGWINS of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources that would help to grow Business Environment and Investment Drive.
The Fund domiciled in BOI is expected to focus on Projects, programmes and activities directed at increasing Nigeria Content in the oil and gas industry.
“This MOU is like a partnership made in Heaven, I hope and believe that this fund will be used to galvanise local investors.
“We are going to set up a team to have a counterpart support to help lift the local content which is like a moral burden.
“We are going to help BOI to ensure we have investment drive that will bring more Direct Foreign Investments (DFI),’’ he said
He added that the primary goal of government was to ensure that the fund would further increase and urged the bank to ensure geographical spread in the disbursement of the fund.
He added that the fund should be used for cutting edge technology drive and should be spread among upstream and downstream oil sector.
“You must look at the oil producing communities and work with them and fund projects that we drive 100 per cent completion.
“ Disburse funds to businesses that will bring about difference and help grow the sector in couple of years to come,’’ he added.
Kachikwu further said that there was the need to set a benchmark for the fund for easy assessment adding that if the fund succeed in ensuring effective local content in the oil sector, it would drive the other sectors of the economy.
He urged the bank to ensure smooth and easy contact approval and reduction in cost of production.(NAN)