03 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos —THE Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF, currently stands at over a N100billion just as the House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration have lamented the non-disbursement of the fund.
Speaking on the sidelines of the recently concluded Harmonized Stakeholders interactive forum organized by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Chairman of the Committee, Mohammed Umar Bago said that the Committee registered its displeasure concerning the development.
Mr. Bago also disclosed that some Ministerial bottlenecks have been responsible for the non-disbursement adding that the Committee will do all within its powers to ensure that the fund is disbursed to local shipping operators.
He said “It is a shame that to date we have over a N100billion in the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund and our people can access the fund, we have written to register our displeasure but some ministerial bottlenecks seems to be a clog.
“There is a need for the Presidency to intervene in the matter so as to ensure that local shipping operators are empowered with a view to growing the economy.
“If we are serious as a government, we need to come terms and let certain things work but government policies are killing legislation.”
The Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund is currently domiciled in the NIMASA and the fund has become an issue of controversy as past administration of the agency have given reasons for the non-disbursement of the fund.
The current management under Dr.Dakuku Peterside has said that the agency does not have the final power of approval.
He explained that the fund is established by law adding that by law there is a prescribed way of accessing the fund, NIMASA is doing what it should do to ensure disbursement of the fund.
He said “We are pushing for the early release of the fund once stakeholders comply with the prescribed way of accessing the fund.
“We want to grow tonnage, we are in a hurry to grow tonnage, the more tonnage we have the better for all of us, the more employment we will create, the more wealth we will create, the more revenue will come to the economy, the more Nigerian get involved in shipping the more Nigerians will benefit.
“As an agency, we have grown the fund in the past one year and we will continue to grow the fund.”