In response to multiple complaints by qualified oil and gas service companies over tough conditions of accessing the $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI Fund), the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Bank of Industry (BoI) have moved to relax some of the conditions.
The steps which aims at easing the accessibility of the fund, were unanimously agreed upon at a stakeholders meeting by NCDMB and BOI. The forum which was chaired by the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote and the Managing Director of BoI, Olukayode Pitan, was held to address the major challenges applicants face in processing their loan applications.
The NCDMB and BoI unanimously agreed that the BOI may consider the inclusion of insurance bonds as collateral for accessing the fund, provided the bonds are issued by competent and major insurance companies qualified by the Bank.
More so, there was consensus that BoI should accept other forms of collateral outside of bank guarantees, which are listed against each loan type and applicants that have unencumbered collateral acceptable to the BoI can access the NCI Fund loan without recourse to bank guarantee.
A key resolution is that an applicant can access loans for two different categories or product types, subject to the applicable single obligor limit under the scheme. The NCDMB said it will also consider increasing the single obligor limit for refinancing from $2 million to between $5 million and $10 million, particularly because many companies that attended the forum have such needs.
It was also agreed that there would be no discrimination between international oil companies and national oil companies, rather the history and performance of the Nigerian oil companies will be considered by the BoI when taking a decision.
The BoI also committed to standardising the conditions for obtaining bank guarantees from each commercial bank and this shall be issued to each applicant at the point of application to guide and speed up their pursuit of the document.
As part of efforts to ease access to the NCI Fund, the BoI would no longer insist on appointing a director on the board of borrowers; but would rather place an officer to monitor the project financed by the loan.
About the fund
The NCI Fund is a portion of the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) set aside by the NCDMB for BoI to manage and lend directly to indigenous manufacturers, service providers and other key players in the oil and gas industry, to meet their funding needs.
The available types of funding under the NCI Fund include loans for manufacturing, asset acquisition, contract finance, community contractor finance and loan refinancing.
One per cent of all contracts, subcontracts, projects and activities in the upstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry is statutorily to be deducted and remitted to the NCDF, as stipulated by Section 104 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act of 2010.
Hyundai and Kia to set up an assembly plants in Ghana by 2022
The automobile giants will join Toyota-Suzuki, Nissan, Kantanka, Volkswagen, and Sinotruck who already have plants in Ghana.
Few weeks after Twitter announced its plans to open its first African office in Ghana, Hyundai and Kia have also concluded plans to set up an assembly plants in Ghana by 2022. The automobile giants will join Toyota-Suzuki, Nissan, Kantanka, Volkswagen, and Sinotruck who already have plants.
Ghana’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen announced this on Twitter.
Pleased to announce that Hyundai & KIA are set to establish assembly plants in Ghana by the end of 2022 to join Toyota-Suzuki, Nissan, Kantanka, Volkswagen & Sinotruck. The Ghana Auto Development programme = 3,600 assembly & 6,600 manufacturing parts jobs in Ghana. #InvestforJobs pic.twitter.com/JMHAmlM5VI
— Alan John Kyerematen (@AlanKyerematen) April 22, 2021
“Pleased to announce that Hyundai & KIA are set to establish assembly plants in Ghana by the end of 2022 to join Toyota-Suzuki, Nissan, Kantanka, Volkswagen & Sinotruck. The Ghana Auto Development program = 3,600 assemblies & 6,600 manufacturing parts jobs in Ghana.
“The local assembly of vehicles, 3,600 direct and indirect jobs would be created in Ghana, and the addition of components and parts manufacturing will also add about 6,600 direct and indirect jobs.”
Why this matters
More foreign companies are shunning Nigeria in favour of Ghana. Recently, Nairametrics reported that Amazon is set to situate its African Headquarters in South Africa, a multi-billion dollar investment that is projected to create over 20,000 jobs both directly and indirectly.
Following its move to Ghana, Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey cited a number of human rights-related reasons for the choice of Ghana over Nigeria. Added to this are rising insecurity, stifling government regulations and the gapping infrastructural deficit bedevilling Nigeria. Consequently, our nation is steadily losing opportunities to attract foreign companies that could be very instrumental in bridging its unemployment gap which is currently over 30%.
Passports: Backlog of undelievered passports to be fixed before May 31st – Minister
The government also announced the launch of a new passport application system, which would be aided by fast track services nationwide.
The Federal Government disclosed that all backlogs of undelivered passport requests would be fixed before May 31st, and announced the launch of a new passport application system, which would be aided by fast track services nationwide.
This was disclosed by Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, in a press briefing with newsmen on Thursday.
What the Minister said
“On or before May 31st, all backlogs of undelivered requests for passports will be totally met, unless such applications have a problem,” he said.
“But before the deadline, the problematic application would be contacted, so that we know what’s wrong with the applications. Assuming there would be no problem, every successful application for a passport would be given a passport on or before May 31st,” he added.
The new passport process
The Minister disclosed that the FG will launch a new passport application process which would come into effect soon.
“When you finish your application process, there would be a waiting period of six weeks to collect your passport, however, if you want an express service, there would be fast track centres nationwide, to meet requests for express passport users,” he said.
What you should know
- Recall Nairametrics reported last month that the Federal Government inaugurated the Nigeria Immigration Service Passport Express Centre, which is a partnership with the private sector to enable the government offer passport services to Nigerians and make passports available in a maximum of 72 hours of a successful application.
- The FG also launched the Electronic Temporary Passport to cater for Nigerians desirous of returning home but whose national passport is not available.
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