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Shell, banks sign N755b local content pact

Monday, 17 September 2012 00:00 From Kelvin. Ebiri,Port-Harcourt

A N755 billion  ($5b)  deal has been signed between Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC)and five banks to ease access to loans for Nigerian contractors.

Shell said the $5 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the banks would further give impetus to the  Nigerian content drive which is aimed at ensuing that indigenous companies play more crucial role in the oil and gas sector.

The Managing Director of SPDC, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, at the signing of the agreement in Port Harcourt at the weekend, said  the scheme was being  funded by First Bank; Citi Bank, Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and  David L Ross Associates.

He explained that they were  spurred  to initiate the scheme because of its desire to continue to encourage  local vendors through the award of contracts and capacity development.

The scheme we are launching today is worth much more than $5billion. So, I will therefore expect that we stretch our delivery and performance far beyond what was achieved by the Americans when they landed on Mars.

I want to see Nigerian contractors build the first floating production storage and offloading vessel in Nigeria. I want to see Nigerians undertaking daunting technological challenges,” Sunmonu said, noting that the skills abound in the country,” said Sunmonu.

He asserted that with the signing of the agreement with the financial institutions,   financing of projects which had for several years impeded the growth of Nigerian contractors  and participation in the delivery of goods and services to the oil and gas industry would be reduced.

Sunmonu implored contractors not to default on loan repayment and to apply the funds to agreed-upon projects in order not defeat the good intention of the initiative tagged ‘Shell Contractors Support Funding Scheme’.

“At full capacity, Nigeria operations can contribute a significant proportion of the global energy requirement and that the $5billion fund would play a key role in achieving the desired aspirations.

SOURCE

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