Shell Companies in Nigeria, supported by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with eight Nigerian banks under the revised Shell Contractor Support Fund in order to offer loans faster and at cheaper rates, informed Premium Times.

Under the MoUs signed in Lagos, Access Bank, Skye Bank, Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC Bank, First Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, First City Monument Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank have set aside $2.2b for contract execution by Nigerian firms. In order to access the fund, contractors must have valid purchase orders and meet the banks’ risk assessment criteria, Punch Newspapers reported.

The scheme provides support for contractors to enable them finance projects executed for Shell Companies in Nigeria in line with the aspirations of the Nigerian Content Act.  The Contractor Funding Scheme started in 2011 with the Shell Kobo Fund, which gave rise to the Shell Contractor Support Fund in 2012. The scheme has been redesigned to address the current economic exigencies and to align it with stakeholder needs by merging the two initial initiatives. To date, the six participating banks have disbursed a total of $1b to over 220 vendors.