Sunday, 4th December 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

Government to disburse cabotage fund to indigenous ship operators soon

By Benjamin Alade (Lagos) Joke Falaju (Abuja) 
04 September 2022   |   3:48 am
The Federal Government has disclosed plans to soon commence the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to enable indigenous shipping operators to compete favourably with their international counterparts.

NIMASA Office

Insecurity Forces Suspension Of work On Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Rail Line 

The Federal Government has disclosed plans to soon commence the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to enable indigenous shipping operators to compete favourably with their international counterparts.         

Indigenous shippers have been canvassing for the government to commence the disbursement of the fund totaling about $350m and domiciled at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

  
The former Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi had repeatedly told the dejected ship owners that funds would not be disbursed, citing several excuses. Amid the battered morale of indigenous ship owners, Amaechi later said that the government was ready to disburse the funds after the long-existing guidelines have been reviewed. 
  
Unfortunately, the lack of access to the funds has seriously affected the vessel acquisition capacity of local shop owners.
  
However, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, while speaking during a visit to the National Inland Waterways Authority, Area Office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, described the CVFF as low-hanging fruit that its disbursement would support maritime activities, adding that “if we get our acts right, the maritime industry can replace the revenue from the oil sector.”              
Meanwhile, the Minister has suspended work on the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern rail line due to insecurity, and vandalism of railway property along the corridor. 

Sambo who was speaking during the ministerial inspection tour of the project, on Friday, in Port Harcourt, said that the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCEC), the contractor handling the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the project has complained of attacks on its workers along the Abia State axis. 

Sambo while condemning the attacks said that in the history of the country, no administration has invested more in rail infrastructure than the present administration.

He called on the media and the judiciary to collaborate with the ministry to ensure that these economic saboteurs are not only exposed but prosecuted and sentenced speedily to serve as a deterrent to others. 
  
On the allegation that funds meant for the Eastern rail line were diverted to other projects, the minister described it as “fake news” as the progress made so far is from the 15 per cent of the counterpart funding made by Nigeria, while the 85 per cent to be provided by foreign partners is still being negotiated. 

In this article