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Finally N72b Vessel Financing Fund ready for access by shippers, but…

Ahead of planned commencement of the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), the Federal Government has set up a committee to develop guidelines for the distribution of the fund.

The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Thursday in lagos inaugurated the committee for the planned commencement of the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF).

CVFF is a statutory funding facility domiciled in NIMASA and created by Act of Parliament for access to indigenous shipping firms to grow their fleet, but for more than a decade, the fund had not been disbursed.

The fund is generated vide a certain percentage of profit made by shippers from year to year.

Business Hilights gathered that the Committee is peopled more by maritime stakeholdersand shipowners, who would review existing guidelines and come up with a workable document.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who was chosen as Chairman of the committee, said only shipowners, who are contributors to the fund, would be qualified to access the facility.

Peterside disclosed that the CVFF had grown to $200 million (about N72 billion), saying only contributors to the fund will be eligible to access it.

He recalled that the fund was meant to promote indigenous capacity in the shipping sector by assisting Nigerians in the procurement of maritime assets in line with the Cabotage Act, which seeks to encourage indigenous participation in the maritime industry.

In his remarks, Amaechi noted that “We have looked at the old guidelines and we have seen that it will not be favourable to every party involved. Our commitment towards ensuring the disbursement of the CVFF remains unwavering, hence, the reason we are setting up this committee to look at the guidelines and come up with a workable one that will suit all parties involved.”

The Minister said part of the economic benefits of the disbursement of the fund would be creation of employment for Nigerians and enhancement of indigenous capacity in the maritime industry, which will help grow the Nigerian economy.