Nigeria’s oil minister said the government launched a fund on Thursday with an initial value of $200 million to support local oil and gas firms, part of a government drive to improve access to low-cost credit across the economy, Reuters reports.
The Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) would be financed through allocating the fund one percent of the value of all contracts awarded in the state-run upstream oil and gas industry, the Petroleum Ministry said. The new fund would offer finance to energy firms setting up manufacturing facilities or acquiring assets such as oil rigs, ministry officials said. It would also offer project financing and help refinance existing loans, they said.
“I would like to see this fund going to cutting edge, tech-driven businesses,” Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Kachikwu told an event in the capital Abuja to launch the fund. The goal was to increase the size of the fund to $1 billion, he said, without giving a timeframe. The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) would manage the fund alongside the state-run Bank of Industry, officials said.