The Federal Government has said operators in the maritime sector may get about $700m to acquire new vessels.
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said this on Tuesday at the maiden annual lecture of the Institute of Maritime Studies at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos.
According to him, at least $700m has been earmarked for the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund.
Jamoh also added that the government was looking at each ship owner getting at least $25m from the fund.
“I didn’t say we will acquire 25 vessels, I gave you an average of $25m per vessel that is according to the guideline and I told you we have about $700m for the purpose of CVFF. And we expect that each owner will get not more than $25m,” he said.
According to the agency boss, the number of jobs that will be created by the time the entire acquisition cannot be over-emphasized.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Transport, Mr Ademola Adegoroye, said that the government would do everything possible to make it easier for shipowners to acquire more ships to grow the blue economy initiative.
Adegoroye also said that the ministry was working hard to ensure that the CVFF was disbursed before the end of the current administration.
He said, “I can assure you that the government will do everything to make it easier for shipowners to get more ships that can continue to grow our Blue economy. It makes sense for every responsible government to do that, once it gets too expensive, it becomes a problem even for our economy.”
“We are hoping and praying that we disburse the fund before the end of the current administration. We have a short time. We have barely eight weeks but I know they are working day and night to achieve this. It is possible; if not, government is a continuum. It is a government policy and nobody can do anything about it.”