Senate Demands Accountability: 70 Firms Accessed NCDMB’s $330m Fund Under Scrutiny
In a bid to ensure transparency and accountability in the utilization of funds, the Senate has called on the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to provide a comprehensive annual report detailing how 70 companies accessed and utilized the agency’s $330 million intervention fund.
During a meeting held in Abuja, the Senate Committee on Local Content, chaired by Sen. Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, directed the NCDMB to submit detailed information on the companies that accessed the fund, the projects undertaken, and the amounts borrowed.
The $330 million intervention fund, managed by the Bank of Industry (BoI), is intended to support private sector companies in executing key projects within the oil and gas industry. However, concerns have been raised about the transparency of fund allocation and utilization.
Sen. Akpoti-Uduaghan emphasized the need for clarity on how the fund is accessed and utilized, expressing concerns about allegations of favoritism and improper use of the fund.
Responding to the Senate’s directive, Mr. Felix Ogbe, Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, clarified that while there had been misconceptions about the fund’s size, the actual figure was $330 million. He disclosed that 70 companies had accessed the fund, with five already fully repaying their loans.
Ogbe highlighted that the BoI conducts regular monitoring to ensure compliance and risk management, given its role in administering the fund.
Additionally, the NCDMB revealed the availability of another $50 million fund at Nexim Bank, earmarked for women-led projects in the oil and gas sector, as well as grants for research and development in agriculture and education.
Regarding expatriate quota, the agency assured the committee of adherence to regulations and guidelines for expatriate engagement.
In response to the Senate’s scrutiny, the NCDMB pledged to provide detailed information on its programs and activities at the next scheduled meeting, reaffirming its commitment to transparency and accountability in promoting local content development in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.