Access Bank reaffirms support for oil and gas sector

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Despite challenges in energy sector, Access Bank Plc. has said that it will continue to give support and back operators in the country’s oil and gas sector with the right financial support required to efficiently grow the industry.

  Group deputy Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr. Roosevelt Michael Ogbonna, gave the assurance while speaking at the panel session of 16th Annual Aret Adams Memorial Lecture Series 2019 with the Theme: Emerging Middle Level Producers in Oil & Gas Industry Challenges and Opportunities in Lagos.

Represented by Joyce Dimkpa, Group Head ,Oil & Gas Upstream, Access Bank Plc , he said this is part of efforts to enhance local participation and competitiveness in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, as Access bank has committed over  $1.4b, which represents the bank’s total financing activities for the upstream, midstream, and downstream sub-sectors of the oil and gas industry, to empower indigenous firms operating in that sector of the economy

According to him ‘today 30 percent of the total asset in the industry is supporting oil and gas and access bank is contributing about 10 percent of that to the total industry. Most of them are direct lending and they are going to the sector.’’

He said the bank was committed to growing local involvement in the oil and gas industry and assisting particularly indigenous firms in taking full advantage of the opportunities in the industry.

The bank’s financial antecedents in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, according to him include funding and supporting the two divestment that happened in the industry in 2011 and 2014 for indigenous operators, financing lines to indigenous fabricators for oil and gas contracts, funding specialised vessel acquisition schemes for local content support

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.

He opined that taking such steps would properly position indigenous firms for increased funding from the financial services sector. He also urged local firms to embrace good corporate governance practices and improve on their risk profiles, stressing that right corporate governance is key to accessing funds from the financial institutions.

‘’ Corporate governance is key , if you have the right structures and you are willing  to have certain risk as business owner, because you can’t pass all the risk to the institution .once that corporate governance is instituted there,  it is a lot easier for banks to take certain actions and take certain risk.  So, when  we know that you have done all the structural requirement for your business, it will be easier for banks to put in their own money, because it also a risk, but we are going to put a good bet on that.’’

He added that infrastructure finance was critical in accelerating development and that underscored the need for an appropriate regulatory environment in attracting long-term investment to the country’s oil and gas sector.

He 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.

‘’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.

‘’We remain committed to our strategic intent to be the partner of first choice for the Oil and Gas industry. Access Bank has a substantial foot print in the Oil & Gas Upstream sector, buoyed by our in-depth industry knowledge and experience, our core involvement across Oil & Gas value chain gives us an edge and our customers an advantage.’’

‘’Access Bank has an extensive history in the Nigerian Oil and Gas downstream sector, with specialized teams to deliver superior services to all stakeholders in the value chain. We remain committed to our strategic intent to be the partner of first choice for the Oil and Gas industry. He started