Maritime BusinessNews

NCB, BoI to bail Nigerian Ship Owners out with $200 million 

Tayo Oladipupo       I        

The Nigerian Content Board (NCB) and the Bank of Industry (BoI) have made available $200 million for Nigerian ship owners as a way of getting their businesses back to life.

The fund is from the 1% freight rate collected from ship owners’ businesses and other industries’ players, including oil and gas sector.

Engr. Greg Ogbeifun, the President of Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) said this at a function in Lagos, recently.

He also decried the state of Nigerian ship owners who having contributed into the Cabotage Vessels Financing Funds (CVFF) for over fourteen years have not been able to benefit from the fund after several attempts.

He maintained that the CVFF was shrouded in secrecy as the total amount contributed so far is a mystery to the contributors as well as that no plans on ground to disburse the said fund.

According to him, the BoI has put in place risk analysis on how to recover the money when disbursed to beneficiaries even as he said that six beneficiaries have benefited so far.

Ogbeifun, expressing optimism towards the initiative of the NCB said, “Lately as you know, the Nigerian Content Board has now developed a relationship with Bank of Industry where they exceeded a hundred million dollars, I heard they are trying to make it 200 million dollars now specifically for ship owners and the BoI put in place risk analysis of recovering the fund and making it available to no one else but the ship owners.”

He added that the CVFF could be disbursed if there is political will stating that both CVFF and NCBDF are both in Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the latter is being disbursed, hence the CVFF should also be disbursed.

“Is it possible for instance because NCB money is also held in TSA and are able to access it so it is also possible for the CVFF fund held in TSA to be disbursed for the purpose for which it is meant?” he queried.

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