Lagos - A new partnership between oil giant, Total, and eight indigenous banks has paved way for local contractors to source funds to finance their contracts.
The deal, which was sealed at the weekend in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, hopes to assist local contractors of Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd and Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd access a $7.5bn fund pulled together by the banks.
The banks include in the deal with Total includes: Ecobank, Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank for Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, Access Bank and Fidelity Bank.
The initiative, which is part of efforts by Total to strengthen government’s local content policy, would also help the oil company’s contractors to access funds to finance projects in the sector.
Under the arrangement, the accredited banks would specifically finance Total’s local contractors, while there will be domiciliation of payments to the banks.
Guy Maurice, Managing Director of Total, said the essence of the initiative, is to bridge the funding gap for the company’s local contractors, which includes vendors and suppliers.
According to Maurice, the MOU provides for sustainable funding relationship between the selected banks and Total’s indigenous contractors, adding that the initiative is line with the Nigerian local content laws.
He expressed gratitude for the emergence of the eight banks, which scaled through the rigorous selection process, saying that the initiative will enhance local contractors’ participation in the company’s entire value chain business.
Some banks expressed their commitment to the deal.
Jibril Aku, Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, said the programme was laudable.
“Ecobank is pleased to have been selected as one of the participating banks.”
Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Godwin Emefiele, said his bank was committed to the success of the partnership with Total.
– CAJ News