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Again, another Transport Minister assures on early CVFF Disbursement, but…

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Just as the new Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo on Friday, pledged to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) soon, many industry stakeholders’ have described the assurance as highly unreliable considering the short time he will serve as minister.

Recall that in a bid to enable indigenous shipping operators utilise and favourably compete with their international counterparts, the CVFF was set up, but no company has ever accessed the fund till date..

It is the first time Muazu Sambo is making such a pledge, unlike his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi who three times gave similar assurances: in 2019, 2020 and December 2021; and still failed woefully.

Emphasizing his determination to untie Gordon’s knot, the new Minister of Transportation disclosed while visiting the National Inland Waterways Authority, Area Office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, that he sees the CVFF as a low-hanging fruit, whose disbursement, would positively impact on the nation’s shipping industry.

The CVFF is an intervention fund created by the Federal Government for the development of indigenous shipping capacity in Nigeria to enable them to maintain existing vessels or purchase new ones.

He described the maritime industry as the gateway to the nation’s economy, adding that “if we get our acts right, the maritime industry can replace the revenue from the oil”.

While answering questions from newsmen at the BUA Ports and Terminal Limited, situated in the Rivers Port, the Minister expressed delight at the progress of work there saying: “we are making good progress, bringing this place to a world standard,”  but urged the operators to ensure completion by 2025.

Furthermore, the Minister assured that as part of the railway modernization policy, rail lines would be linked to the seaports for effective and efficient haulage of cargoes.

The Minister was accompanied on the trip by the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria and the Registrar, Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding, in Nigeria, Sam Nwakohu.

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