Chineme Okafor in Abuja
First Bank of Nigeria has said it will continue to back operators in the country’s oil and gas sector with the right financial support required to efficiently grow the industry.
According to the bank, it is necessary for the country to develop and enact good regulatory frameworks that would support the growth of the industry.
Speaking recently at the Energy Finance Forum sponsored by FBN at the just concluded second edition of the annual Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS) in Abuja, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of First Bank, Mr. Adesola Adeduntan, told delegates at the session that the bank had been in the pole position of supporting oil and gas firms operating in Nigeria, especially indigenous companies.
According to him, the session, which had its theme as ‘financiers and the petroleum industry: gaining mutual understanding to grow,’ was vital considering the vast financial outlay required to develop the sector.
Represented by the bank’s Executive Director, Public Sector, Abdullahi Ibrahim, Adeduntan, also noted that infrastructure finance was critical in accelerating development.
He added that this, underscored the need for an appropriate regulatory environment in attracting long-term investment to the country’s oil and gas sector.
Adeduntan, equally explained that the bank had been supporting the oil and gas sector with funds through some of its products that provide finance for oil contracts.
According Adeduntan, the First Bank’s oil industry contract finance product was designed to meet the funding requirements of indigenous oil and gas companies who are either customers or prospective customers of the bank.
He explained that the self-liquidating product was contingent upon receipt of contract proceeds after successful completion of stipulated milestone.
“This has been beneficial to operators in the sector and it has increased their profitability and impacted greatly on their operations over the years,” Adeduntan, stated.
He also noted that the bank had been providing finance for stock of white petroleum products in the downstream oil sector, which include petrol.
According to the bank, it consistently provides support to existing or new customers who are registered members of oil associations in Nigeria.