NCDMB poised to have new Financial, Prosecutorial Powers, Keep 20% of Content Fund for Administrative Costs, under Proposed Amendment Bill - Africa’s premier report on the oil, gas and energy landscape.

NCDMB poised to have new Financial, Prosecutorial Powers, Keep 20% of Content Fund for Administrative Costs, under Proposed Amendment Bill

By Lukman Abolade, Senior Correspondent

The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will have the power to enter into financial partnerships with public and private institutions, among other new regulatory functions, if the law setting up the institution is amended in the current form being presented at the National Assembly.

The bill before the House of Representatives, the lower chamber in Nigeria’s bicameral legislature, will repeal the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010, and enact a ‘Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act’, “that will among other things cure defects observed in the existing Act”,  in its place.

Central to the proposed amendment is the enhancement of the authority and capacities of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The bill gives approval to the Board to participate in equity investments and allocate twenty percent of the money received in the Nigerian Content Development Fund to be used to defray administrative expenses. “This is also an innovative provision as there is no such provision in the existing NOGICD Act. and others”, according to a statement signed by Director/Committee Clerk of the House Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board of Nigeria’s National Assembly.

The bill also seeks to provide statutory approval for existing funds managed by the NCDMB, including the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCI), NCDMB Research and Development Fund, Working Capital and Capacity Building Fund, Women in Oil and Gas Fund Bank, and NOGAPS Manufacturing Fund that the Board presently established and had been operating on.

In a bid to streamline and monitor project approval processes, the bill prescribes strict timelines for the NCDMB to approve or disapprove projects and programmes for industry operators and contractors. This measure aims to introduce a limitation on contract cycles and unnecessary delays to improve efficiency and give statutory backing to the agreement reached among the Board, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and International Oil Companies (IOCs) on limitation of contract cycle in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.

In terms of enforcement, the proposed legislation grants the NCDMB prosecutorial powers to address criminal offenses outlined in the bill.

Moreover, it empowers the Board to impose administrative sanctions for non-criminal violations, providing a comprehensive mechanism for regulatory oversight. The Bill further provides for active encouragement of backward and forward linkages in the oil and gas Industry.

On February 9, 2024, the House of Representatives passed the bill for the second reading and has since referred it to the Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board for further review.

The Committee expects industry stakeholders to submit, by March 18, 2024, a Memorandum which should be fifteen (15) hard copies and a soft copy to: The Clerk, House Committee on Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring, Room 413, 4th  Floor, White House, House of Representatives, National Assembly Complex, Three Arms Zone,

Abuja. A date for the Public Hearing shall is expected to be communicated in due course

 

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