Why Cabotage Fund failed, by ex-NIMASA boss

NIMASA’s Director General, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi

Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, DG, NIMASA

09 October 2013, Abuja – Former Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Mr. Temisan Omatseye has said the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF, project failed because of the guidelines in disbursing the fund.

Speaking before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee investigating the status of the fund in Abuja, Omatseye stated that NIMASA as agency does not have the wherewithal to administer or disburse the fund and suggested that the CVFF be handed over to a competent fund management company.

He explained that the long period of time it takes to access the CVFF is a far cry from what is obtainable.

“We need to release the fund from NIMASA and hand it over to people who can manage it, the banks are giving facilities for 8.5 per cent and it takes three to six months to start and access these facilities. While NIMASA’s CVFF attracts only 5.5 per cent, it takes three years to access because of its guidelines” he said.

Reacting to verdict of the former Director General, Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee Mr. Christopher Eta urged the management of the agency to work out modalities to change the guidelines

Eta noted that it was easier to change the guidelines than to change the law. The fund, it was gathered currently stands at N30 billion including the interest accruable.

– Godwin Oritse, Vanguard

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