Oil companies that benefitted from the $160 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund to build modular refineries but defaulted in paying back will soon face prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Executive Secretary, Nigeria Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wambote, disclosed this during the just concluded Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja.
In his opening address on Nigerian Content seminar, Wambote disclosed that the NCDMB had so far disbursed $160 million out of the $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund to oil companies for the development of modular refineries, and capacity building, among others.
He, however, noted that many companies that benefitted from the fund were defaulting in terms of paying back what they were given.
According to him, We cannot believe that some companies are not paying but they are doing business in the oil and gas sector. These include IOCs, indigenous companies, contractors and operators. We are getting close to where we will hand them over to the authorities.
We are almost there, where when we compile how much they are supposed to have paid and how much they owe, we will give them to the EFCC because they are the agency responsible to recover such funds. That will happen in the next one or two months.
The NCDMB boss also chided international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria for not appreciating the in -country capacities that had been developed over the years in the nations oil and gas sector and urged them to take time and evaluate the capacities in the country.
He recalled that he was always confronted with the question of how much was in the purse of the agency for local content development in Nigeria.
When they ( journalists) ask, I give them the exact figure and these days I dont face that question anymore , he said, adding that But then, people also started asking, what did you do with this fund? One, I am happy to tell you that the $200 million capacity development with the Bank of Industry has actually been very successful.
Today, we probably have about $40 million left because $160 million has been accessed by Nigerian companies to build capacity. So, I dont worry about people asking me what are you doing with the fund, he said.