Senate uncovers $400m intervention funds in banks

The Nigerian Senate said it has uncovered $400 million in intervention funds domiciled in banks and other financial institutions for a couple of years.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Content, Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, disclosed this during a session with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

Akpoti-Uduaghan stated that out of the intervention funds uncovered, $30 million was budgeted for capacity building in oil and gas while $20 million was meant for women in oil and gas businesses. Another $50 million of local content development fund available for research and development in oil and gas industries was also domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Senator questioned why the funds were lying fallow without Nigerians accessing them and called on the Nigeria Local Content Development Board, NCDMB to make the funding opportunities accessible to ordinary Nigerians.

According to her, the funds are capable of attracting oil and gas equipment manufacturers to Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGaPS) facilities, as well as increase access to affordable finance by the manufacturing entities.

But in his response, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr Felix Ogbo, revealed that the $300 million meant for the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund was still domiciled in the Bank of Industry (BoI).

He said that the entire $300 million has been disbursed, adding that the total amount disbursed so far was $330 million, explaining that as beneficiaries pay, the money would be given to others who want to borrow.

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