24 May 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA has reiterated that only qualified operators in the maritime industry can access the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF.
NIMASA Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, this while responding to questions from Reporters at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at the weekend.
The CVFF is a product of the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act of 2003 and provides for the disbursement of loans to indigenous operators in the shipping industry to grow their fleet.
The fund is derived from the 2 percent surcharge on all Cabotage contracts which are deducted and warehoused in the CVFF.
He explained that the qualified operators will access the fund provided they meet the requirements as stipulated in the guidelines.
The NIMASA boss stated that agency plans to safeguard the CVFF from suffering the same fate as the Ship Building and Ship Acquisition Fund (SBSAF).
Dr. Peterside vowed that the Agency under his leadership will take all necessary precaution to ensure that all national assets under its care including CVFF are used for the benefit of all Nigerians.
He added that the current management is bent on ensuring that the Agency commits itself to the principles and letters of its enabling instruments noting that NIMASA under his leadership will rededicate itself to its core functions of promoting indigenous participation in international and coastal shipping as well as regulating the maritime sector for Nigeria’s economic development.
Explaining why the SBSAF may have failed, the DG noted that while it was backed by policy, the CVFF is backed by law which makes it more difficult for the CVFF to be open to abuses.
“With the CVFF, the Agency contributes 35 percent, the banks who are the Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) contribute 50 percent while the applicant makes an equity contribution of 15 percent. The various layers of due diligence from the Agency to the banks makes it very difficult for this programme to be abused as the banks, for instance, will undertake the risk analysis because they are bearing 50 percent of the risk” the DG said.