The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has assured Nigerian ship-owners that the agency is working assiduously to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) in line set regulations.
The Director General said this at a cocktail parley for stakeholders in Ship and Maritime Infrastructure Financing organized by the Nigerian Ship Finance Conference and Exhibition (NISFCOE), in Lagos at the weekend.
Dakuku, who represented the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi said that the fund which is currently over $100million is still with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) due to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy.
“In line with its cargo support initiative for indigenous practitioners, we are already getting the support of the presidency to change the Nigerian terms of trade from Free-on-Board (FOB) to Cost insurance and Freight (CIF).” He said
He however lamented that many Nigerian ship-owners are not ready to take advantage of the opportunity when it finally arrives while identified lack of debt facility from Nigerian banks and high interest rates as major challenges confronting Nigerian ship-owners, Dakuku vowed that NIMASA is ready to crash the interest rate in order to allow Nigerian ship-owners compete favorably against their international counterparts.
“We are determined to disburse CVFF according to the law and according to regulation, we are dedicated, we are committed and we are passionate about disbursing it.
“CVFF does not belong to the Federal Government, it is our money, the government is only to monitor it, but they are now squeezing life out of us”
In her address, the Convener of the Nigerian Ship Finance Conference and Exhibition, Mrs. Ezinne Azunna said that the parley was held in preparatory to the actual NISFCOE conference 2017 billed to hold in November 2017.
She noted that the Nigerian maritime sector although endowed with huge potentials cannot be called a maritime nation because it lacks ships and many other maritime infrastructures. She said that one of the aims of the conference is to look at how to raise money to acquire ships by bringing the regulators, banks and the private sector together to design a way-out.