Ship owners demand release of $100m Cabotage fund by NIMASA

Posted by Aisha Cole | 27 November 2017 | 1,500 times

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•NISA President Aminu Umar

The President of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Mr Aminu Umar has called on the Federal Government to intervene in the delayed disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to sustain shipping business.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ship owners have been worried over the non-disbursement of the more than US$100 million being administered by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The fund has been growing in the last 14 years when the Cabotage and Inland Shipping Act 2003 was enacted.

In an interview with NAN on Sunday in Lagos, Umar said that there was no improvement in shipping business in the country, adding that NISA was still engaging NIMASA over the fund.

“We hope that in 2018 NIMASA will come up with the intervention fund for ship owners because the fund is already there. We want to see improvement in our operations.

“There is need for government to make the CVFF fund transparent so that our members will have access to it.

“So far, we do not know why the CVFF has not been disbursed and government, through NIMASA, has not told us why it’s not being disbursed,” Umar said.

He explained that there were many indigenous ship owners operating in different sectors of the maritime industry.

According to him, Nigeria presently had more than 20 active ship owners in the downstream sector of the oil and gas sector, adding that there were over 100 ship owners operating upstream.

The NISA boss also pleaded with the insurance companies to remove the “Worries Zone Charges’’, which came up due to threats on Nigerian waters as a result of the Niger Delta crisis since the situation in that region had returned to normal.

Umar said that in spite of the numerous charges being paid by ship owners, government still charged “Sea Protection Levy”.

NAN reports that NIMASA Director-General, Dr Dakuku Peterside had said that the agency was pushing for the release of the CVFF once ship owners comply with the prescribed ways of accessing the fund.

Peterside said that the agency was determined to disburse the fund according to the rules and regulations guiding it. (NAN)


Source: News Express

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