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Ship owners seek transparency in disbursement of $124m Cabotage fund

By Sulaimon Salau
27 December 2019   |   3:53 am
Ship owners, under the aegis of the Nigerian Shipowners’ Association (NISA), has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to ensure that the criteria for disbursement of the $124 million Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund...

Ship owners, under the aegis of the Nigerian Shipowners’ Association (NISA), has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to ensure that the criteria for disbursement of the $124 million Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF), to indigenous operators will be transparent, and all-encompassing.
 
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, last week, said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the disbursement of the intervention fund to indigenous ship-owners.
   
Speaking on the development, when members of the Steering Committee of NISA paid a courtesy visit to NIMASA, Capt. Taiwo Akinpelumi, said: “Some policy pronouncement is reported to have been made as regards disbursement of CVFF. We view this as important and game changing statement, which will definitely bring succour to ship-owners in Nigeria. We hope the modalities and the criteria for the selection and the guidelines to be deployed for the disbursement will be transparent and all-encompassing.
   
“However, with full benefit of the genesis and ultimate start of the Cabotage regime, NISA will present suggestions and position accordingly.”Also, another member of the committee, Tunji Brown, complained about frustration in securing a provisional certificate for used vessels in Nigeria, while it takes 48 hours in other countries.
   
Responding, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, said the industry is excited about the end of the rift that engulfed the Association for so many years. Represented by Anthony Ogadi, he noted that the faction in NISA had over the years been a nightmare to the Agency and other stakeholders in the industry.
   
Peterside, however assured the committee that NISA members would be adequately informed when the Fund is to be disbursed.He said, “No penny has so far been disbursed from the CVFF, but I can assure you that if the disbursement is about to take place, the guidelines and criteria will be made public for everyone to see.”On the provisional certificate, Peterside urged the ship-owners to start the registration early enough so that they can be issued within 48 hours.