Shipowners Urge NIMASA To Be Transparent in Disbursement of Vessel Finance Fund 

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Shipowners Urge NIMASA To Be Transparent in Disbursement of Vessel Finance Fund 

Abiola Seun       |     

The Nigerian Shipowners’ Association (NISA) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to ensure that the criterial for the disbursement of the $124million Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) to Indigenous Shipowners is transparent and all encompassing.

Recall that the Minister of Transportation had last week said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the disbursement of the intervention fund to indigenous Shipowners.

Speaking when members of the steering committee of NISA paid a courtesy visit on the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, Capt. Taiwo Akinpelumi said the pronouncement on the disbursement of the CVFF is important and game changing statement that will bring succour to indigenous Shipowners.

Akinpelumi also told NIMASA that the association would present suggestions and position for the disbursement of the CVFF accordingly.

He said, “Some policy pronouncement is reported to have been made as regards disbursement of CVFF. We view this as important and game changing statement which will definitely bring succour to shipowners in Nigeria. We hope the modalities and the criteria for the selection and the guidelines to be deployed for the disbursement will be transparent and all encompassing.

“However, with full benefit of the genesis and ultimate start of the Cabotage regime, NISA will present suggestions and position accordingly.”

Also speaking, Tunji Brown another member of the steering committee also complained about frustration in securing a provisional certificate for used vessels.

According to him, while it takes 48hours to secure a provisional certificate in other countries it has always become frustrating in Nigeria.

However, responding to the Shipowners, the DG of NIMASA, said the industry is excited about the end to the rift that engulfed the association for so many years.

The DG who was represented by Mr Anthony Ogadi, further stated that the faction in NISA had over the years been a nightmare to the agency and stakeholders in the industry.

The DG however assured the committee that NISA members will be adequately informed when the CVFF is about to be disbursed.

He said, “No penny has so far been disbursed from the CVFF but I can assure you that if the disbursement is about to take place, the guidelines and criteria will be made public for everyone to see.”

On the provisional certificate, the DG urged the Shipowners to start the registration early enough so that they can be issued within 48hours.

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