The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has vowed that the Agency under his leadership will take all necessary precaution to ensure that all national assets under its care are used for the benefit of all Nigerians.
The DG said this while responding to questions from Reporters at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at the weekend on the Agency’s plans to safeguard the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) from suffering the same fate as the Ship Building and Ship Acquisition Fund (SBSAF).
Dr. Peterside explained that the current management was bent on ensuring that the Agency commits itself to the principles and letters of its enabling instruments noting that NIMASA under his leadership will rededicate itself to its core functions of promoting indigenous participation in international and coastal shipping as well as regulating the maritime sector for Nigeria’s economic development.
Explaining why the SBSAF may have failed, the DG observed that while the SBSAF was backed by policy, the CVFF is backed by law which makes it more difficult for the CVFF to be open to abuses.
“With the CVFF, the Agency contributes 35%, the banks who are the Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) contribute 50% while the applicant makes an equity contribution of 15%. The various layers of due diligence from the Agency to the banks makes it very difficult for this programme to be abused as the banks for instance will undertake the risk analysis because they are bearing 50% of the risk” the DG said.
He assured stakeholders that NIMASA will ensure the disbursement of the CVFF to qualified operators providing they meet the requirements as stipulated in the guidelines.
The Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) is a product of the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act of 2003 and provides for the disbursement of loans to indigenous operators in the shipping industry to grow their fleet. This fund is derived from the 2% surcharge on all Cabotage contracts which are deducted and warehoused in the CVFF.