The Federal Government on Thursday launched a new programme, tagged ‘Project 100’, to promote 100 indigenous entrepreneurs in the oil and gas sub-sector of the economy.

The project, which was initiated by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, is driven by Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), aiming to identify and nurture budding indigenous oil and gas related companies to become world class in their area of operations.

Simbi Wabote, the executive secretary of NCDMB, said the selection process was handled by KPMG, a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory to ensure transparency and ward off any form of interference.

Wabote, who noted that Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state in the ministry, conceived project during the last Offshore Technology Conference in America, stated that 60 beneficiaries were successful in the first batch after a rigorous selection process.

According to him, part of the criteria for selection was that the firm must be 100 per cent owned and run by Nigerians.

He stated that, among 8000 companies, which registered on the board’s portal, were active 2,527, while 423 made efforts to respond to queries sent out, after which 60 were finally selected, insisting that the process was done independently in a most transparent manner.

“Nobody called me, nobody called the honourable minister to speak for any of the beneficiaries.

“We are here to render any support to ensure that you are the drivers of your businesses,” he stated.

Kachikwu noted that the idea was to provide institutional support for indigenous entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

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