Acting President of the Nigerian Shipowners’ Association (NISA) Alhaji Umar Aminu has urged the federal government to adopt a new model for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessels Financing Funds (CVFF).
Speaking during an interview with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in his office on Friday, Aminu said the new model should include lodging the Cabotage fund with banks that finance maritime business over the years.
“Government should put the money in the banks that finance maritime businesses because that will be a source of encouragement to such banks.
“The huge CVFF fund gathered should be used as an investment. It will be like saying ‘if you finance maritime businesses, we will guarantee that we will put these funds in your care’.
“This will encourage the banks to start looking at different maritime business to finance,” he said.
Aminu who said a new model for the CVFF has become imperative since no ship owner has so far benefited from it since inception.
He said, “I am of the opinion that federal government should look at a different approach from what is on ground.
“We at NISA will look at the possibility of meeting with the government to review the model to know whether the model that is operating is not the one that we should use now, we will do that when the new government settles down.
“As we can see now, many shipowners have been able to secure finances from banks with reasonable interest rate and I think that for all this years that the CVFF was not disbursed because of some hiccups, the models should be change to meet the current economic reality.”
The NISA President also said that the association would engage the incoming government of General Muhammadu Buhari on how to turn around the fortunes of the shipping sector.
“I agree with Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) that the fund should not be put where it will be mismanaged but should be put where it will be utilized.
“The commercial banks are providing financial assistance to shipowners. Government should also encourage them by depositing the funds in their banks.
“This will spur other banks to help develop the maritime industry.
“We as ship owners do not know how much has accrued into the fund but I promise that we will enquire immediately the new government is inaugurated,” he added.
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