Local content fund defaulters to face EFCC for prosecution

In the next few days, the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and their local counterparts are facing prosecution for not remitting their Nigerian Content Fund to the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the Board’s Executive Secretary, Mr Simbi Wabote, has said.

The NCDF is one percent of every contract awarded to any contractor, sub-contractor, alliance partner or any other entity involved in any project, operation activity or transaction in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry, which shall be deducted at source and paid into the NCDF account.

Speaking during a lecture titled: ‘’Promoting investment and collaboration in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry which opened in Abuja recently, he said the Board has complied the list of defaulting firms, with a view to handing them over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) for prosecution in few days time.

He said it is worrisome that some oil and gas firms have consistently defaulted in the remittance of the one per cent deduction, warning that such companies should be ready to face the full wrath of the law.

He said it is worrisome that some oil and gas firms have consistently defaulted in the remittance of the one per cent deduction, warning that such companies should be ready to face the full wrath of the law.

According to him, the Board is carrying out a forensic audit to determine the actual number of defaulters, how much they owed and subsequently hand them over to EFCC for prosecution.

He said the development would enable the board to recover its debts, as  well as serve as a deterrent to others.

Wabote said:  ‘‘You cannot believe it that some companies including International Oil Companies (IOCs), indigenous firms and contractors and operators are not paying these funds. We are getting close to where we will hand them over to the relevant prosecuting agencies.’’

To enhance accessibility to the fund, the Board in July 2016, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bank of Industry (Bol) to establish the NCIF.’’

Companies,Wabote said, have so far accessed $160 million out of the $200 million Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) that is domiciled with the Bank of Industry (BoI).

He said local firms had spend  $160million to build capacity, a development, which has left  $40million in the custody of the Nigerian Bank of Industry (BoI).

He also  said the fund was also spent on building modular refineries, adding that the development has helped the Board to exit appropriation and further become a self-funding agency.

 

Source: The Nation

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