NIMASA gets reps support to disburse CVFF

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The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has received support from the House of Representatives to disburse the $360 million Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) to qualified Nigerian shipowners.

This is contained in a statement by Mr Osagie Edward, Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA, in Lagos on Friday.

Edward explained that a committee of the House, in its report, gave the nod for disbursement at the end of an investigation which was chaired by Mr Legor Idagbo, member representing Bekwarra/Obudu/Obanliku Federal Constituency of Cross River State

“The committee in its report said it made the following findings that the committee requested the NIMASA and the Ministry of Transportation to provide detailed information on the total amount accrued to the fund and disbursements since inception.

“The committee, met with the Minister of Transportation and the Director-General of NIMASA on May 11 to find out about the details concerning the matter.

“That after a thorough analysis of the various submissions, coupled with the explanations given by the ministry and NIMASA, the committee discovered that due process was followed in the planned disbursement of the CVFF.

“That the committee notes that the CVFF is a fund that was set up in 2003 by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act. The fund was established to develop indigenous ship acquisition capacity and to provide financial assistance to indigenous shipping operators,” he said.

Edward said that the committee further noted that there was a lack of capacity amongst indigenous or domestic coastal operators in Nigeria.

The spokesman said that was the reason Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Ltd., (NNPC) still awards contracts to foreign shipping companies.

He said that this was in contravention of the Cabotage and Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Acts.

“Some of these awards have been previously investigated by the committee, which led to their cancellation.

“It was also discovered that the total funds of $360m in the CVFF account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) represents 50 per cent, while the remaining counterpart funds of 50 per cent is from stakeholders and banks, which is 15 and 35 per cent respectively,” he said.

Edward noted that the committee commended NNPCL on its commitment to awarding shipping contracts to indigenous companies that had built capacity to the level where they could successfully execute these contracts.

He quoted Dr Bashir Jamoh, Director General, NIMASA, as saying that he thanked the lawmakers for their interest in verifying the due process being followed by the agency.

“Jamoh expressed optimism that the NNPCL’s resolve to award maritime contracts to indigenous companies will give strength to the cabotage regime being championed by the agency and it reaffirmed NIMASA’s transparency resolve in all facets of the agency’s operation

“The DG also called for more stakeholder support, saying the CVFF will evolve into greater benefit for more Nigerians, grow the per capita income and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria, through the maritime industry,” he said.

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