Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has vowed that the agency under his leadership will take necessary precaution to ensure that all national assets under its care are used for the benefit of Nigerians.
Peterside 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).
He said the current NIMASA management was bent on ensuring that the agency commits itself to the principles and letters of its enabling instruments, noting that the agency 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.
Peterside said while the SBSAF was backed by policy, the CVFF is backed by law which makes it more difficult to be open to abuse.
He said, “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,” he 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.
The fund is derived from the 2% surcharge on all Cabotage contracts which are deducted and warehoused by NIMASA.
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