Nigerians who want to set up manufacturing outfits in the oil and gas industry can now access the Nigerian Content Fund, the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Content Development Fund Board, Ernest Nwapa, has said.
Speaking yesterday at the 3rd Practical Nigerian Content Summit in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State, Nwapa said already some enterprising Nigerians have started benefiting from the fund.
He said the fund is growing and has 50 percent interest rebates as againt what banks offer.
The fund, according to the Nigeria Content Act, provides that all operators and contractors in the upstream oil and gas industry must contribute one percent of all contract sums to it.
He said part of the fund is used for direct intervention by the board while the remaining 70 percent is for Nigerians to access to form companies that will add value to the industry and create jobs.
To benefit from the Nigerian Content Act, the people should be deeply involved in manufacturing and not limit themselves to contract seeking, he said.
Nwapa said in the last 30 years, Nigeria has lost about $380 billion as capital flight to the western world, adding that about 10 million direct and indirect jobs were exported out of the country from the oil industry.
In his remark, the chairman of the Oil Producers Trade Section, Mr Mark Ward, said all over the world, it has been agreed that supporting local content makes good business sense because it yields sustained benefits both for host communities and oil companies.
He said OPTS members have been supporting initiative towards enhancing the level of in country value creation.