NCDMB recovers almost $100m in unremitted deductions

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By Oluwatoyin Bayagbon

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) says it has recovered almost $100 million in unremitted deductions by oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria. 

Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the NCDMB made this known during his opening address at the 20th Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference in Abuja on Monday. 

According to the provisions of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (NOGICDA or the Act), a one percent levy on contracts awarded to any company involved in projects, operations, or transactions in the upstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry should be deducted and remitted into the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 

The fund was set up for the purpose of financing projects, programmes, and activities directed at increasing Nigerian content in the industry. 

Highlighting that the amount recovered represented undisputed obligations over a 7-year period, the Executive Secretary urged affected companies to avail themselves of the NOGCID Joint Qualification System (JQS) for easy settlement, while pending remittances under dispute are undergo resolution. 

He said the audit for remittances covering the last three years would begin by the fourth quarter of 2021. 

“In respect of the non-remittance of the Nigerian Content Development Fund, we wish to announce that we have recovered close to $100 million of undisputed obligations from the third-party forensic audit of remittances between 2010 to 2017. Disputed obligations are being closed out to bring this exercise to a close,” Wabote said. 

“Ladies and gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to announce the third-party forensic audit of remittances for the year 2018, 2019 and 2020 are scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of this year. Upon completion, this will bring our books up to date on backlog of remittances.

“As part of measures to plug loopholes and also make it easy for those that genuinely want to remit, we launched the NCDF remittance platform last year, hosted on the NOGCID JQS and more than 80% of operators and service providers have migrated to the platform.”

The NCDMB Executive Secretary further spoke on “attacks” that could threaten the success of the local content mandate, adding that specific provisions of the NOGCID Act would be deployed to ensure compliance at all levels. 

“Attacks against the Nigerian oil and gas industry could be in various forms, but from NCDMB, perspective, such attacks would look deliberate with dubious efforts to foster none or low patronage of established in-country capacity and capabilities, non-remittance or diversion of Nigerian Content Development Fund, abuse of expatriate quota, and many others,” he said. 

“We continue to deploy the provisions of the NOGCID Act, to fortify the oil and gas industry against these attacks, such as Section 3, 12, and 28 of the NOGCID Act which states that first consideration shall be given to Nigerian operators in the award of blocks and licenses, to Nigerian goods and services in the evaluation of bids, and for the employment and training of Nigerians in any project executed in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. 

“Let me therefore emphasize that this is the law of the land and the default mindset for any reputable local or international operator or service provider is to comply.”

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