14 January 2019, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh, has blamed ship owners for the failure of the agency to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund, CVFF.
Jamoh, who spoke on the sidelines of an event organised by the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) recently in Lagos, said the inclination of the indigenous ship owners to pursue personal interest over collective interest remains a hindrance to the CVFF disbursement.
He also accused the ship owners of lack of unity.
‘‘This issue is something that the Minister (of Transportation) has attempted to address and he asked the ship owners to organize themselves as one team and come back to discuss the issues with him. The differences and conflict in interests limited some of these noble actions of the Minister.
Recall that the Government took a bold attempt to change the face of maritime business within its coasts when it enacted the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003, Though designed to restrict foreign participation in Nigeria’s domestic coastal trade, nevertheless a lot of opportunities exist for foreign involvement.
The objective of the Cabotage Act is primarily to reserve the commercial transportation of goods and services within Nigerian coastal and inland waters to vessels flying the Nigerian flag and owned by persons of Nigerian citizenship.
The is meant to encouraging indigenous shipping lines to participate in Coastal and Inland Trade Administering Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF, Enlightening and sensitizing would-be investors in the Cabotage Trade through seminars, conferences, workshops etc.
Maintaining a Registry of Vessels for Cabotage Trade Registering ships owned by indigenous shipping lines to participate in the Nation`s Cabotage trade.