By Eromosele Abiodun
The Managing Director of C & I Leasing Plc, Mr Andrew Otike-Odibi, has praised the First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and the Bank of Industry (BOI) for their support for Nigerian companies to acquire vessels to boost local participation in the oil and gas industry.
Otike-Odibi, who made the commendation at the unveiling of an 80-tonne vessel jointly financed on behalf of C&I Leasing Plc by both financial institutions said the vessel was the biggest addition to its fleet of vessels.
He said the financing revealed the federal governmentâ€™s commitment to boosting its local content policy in the oil and gas sector.
According to him, the acquisition of the vessel would reduce foreign exchange demand, increase human capacity development and the number of vessels in the companyâ€™s fleet.
He added: â€œToday marks another milestone for C&I Leasing plc as we launch our first 80-ton bollard pull AHTS which happens to be the biggest owned vessel in our fleet. This milestone could not have been achieved without the invaluable support of our financiers such as Bank of Industry and FCMB, our clients- Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd and our committed and dedicated C&I team.
â€œThis new addition to our fleet is a strong demonstration of the governmentâ€™s commitment to developing local capacity especially in the oil and gas industry. In 26 years, we have grown from a finance lease business to now a logistics support business in Nigeria and Ghana. This has seen us grow our fleet in the marine business to 21 vessels cutting across different oilfield service vessels such as crew boats, patrol boats, tug boats, pilot boats and platform support vessels.â€
The BoI Managing Director, Mr. Kayode Pitan said at the inauguration of the vessel christened, â€˜MV Belloâ€™â€™ in Lagos that the joint financing demonstrated their supports for deepening the countryâ€™s local content policy.
Pitan, who was represented by the General Manager, Large Enterprises, BoI, Mr. Joseph Babatunde, said the financing was to generate employment and grow the countryâ€™s economy.
He added: â€œThe vessel is the first vessel supported by BoI. The aim is not to leave the oil and gas industry to all comers; we need more indigenous companies to be able to take our destiny in our hands. For us at BoI, we like ventures that will create employment and add value to the economy of the country. We will do more to support many industries that need long term financing. The loan will be paid over a period of six to nine years with reasonable moratorium period that allows the company to stabilise and take the benefits to expand its operations.â€
Pitan revealed that financing of the vessel will create 220 jobs and would gradually attract all other services rendered in the value chain.
He stated: â€œToday, BoI is also signing a MoU of $200million local content development fund in Abuja for the oil and gas sector; I see a bright future for the industry.â€
On his part, the Managing Director of FCMB, Mr. Adam Nunu, said the bank would continue to provide solutions and financial support to different sectors of the economy.
â€œWe have demonstrated how local players can help to support the larger marine industry which is hugely dominated by foreign companies,â€ Nunu said.