Buhari approves disbursement of Cabotage Financing Fund for Vessels Acquisition
Union, Zenith, Polaris, UBA Jaiz Banks named primary lenders
₦16b, $350m available for disbursement, Says Jamoh
By Edu Abade,
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to qualified Nigerians as part of the Federal Government’s commitment to growing indigenous capacity of Nigerians to own vessels.
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo who made the announcement at a press conference this weekend said that the Presidential approval received by the Ministry on Friday confirmed Union, Zenith, Polaris, UBA and Jaiz Banks as the appointed Primary Lending Institutions for the disbursement of the funds.
Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, OFR, announced that the funds available for disbursement were slightly over ₦16 billion and $350 million.
“What we have collected so far is in two folds made up of Naira and Dollar components. So far, the Funds available under the CVFF is estimated at N16 billion, while contributions in dollar component, hover around the $350 million mark.
On his part, the Minister noted that the Ministry of Transportation has commenced liaison with the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria for the implementation.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari approved a request for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, adding: “It is my belief that finally, we are going to break the 17-year-old jinx that has hindered the expansion of the maritime industry.
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“We have made a case that the funds belong to you, the ship owners, the President is a man, who respects the law and is on the same page with us to proceed with immediate effect. We will be liaising with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to work immediately for its approval.
“We have pledged to the president that they will continue to allow the funds to go into the Treasury Single Account, TSA; however, whenever the money hits the threshold of $50 million, the CBN upon recommendation from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Federal Ministry of Transportation would be expected to transfer the funds to the Primary Lending Institutions.”
The CVFF was established alongside the Nigerian Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003 to empower indigenous ship owners to take control of the nation’s coastal and inland shipping business, otherwise known as Cabotage trade. Applicants of the fund would make an equity contribution of 15 per cent, while NIMASA would make an equity contribution of 35 per cent and 50 per cent would be provided by the banks.
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