Disburse Or Cancel CVFF Now, Indigenous Shipowners Tells Transportation Minister
Fred Omotara, Lagos
The Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) has urged the newly appointed Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Mu’azu Jaji Sambo to immediately commence procedure for the disbursement of the $350m Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF).
Speaking exclusively with kadecommunicationng on Thursday, President of SOAN, Dr. MkGeorge Onyung explained that if the Minister will not commence procedure to disburse the CVFF, then he should make legislative effort to cancel the fund.
According to Dr. Onyung, “The Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Mu’azu Jaji Sambo should as a matter of fact disburse the CVFF now or cancel the fund.
“The Minister is currently meeting with Heads of Maritime agencies in Abuja, which is a good note to start work. He should however ensure that the CVFF is disbursed now.
“The Maritime industry missed a golden opportunity to disburse the fund seven years ago, we shouldn’t repeat such mistake. The fund is a 2 percent contribution of indigenous Shipowners in the maritime industry, and it’s time it is disbursed.
“Without ships, Nigeria is disadvantaged. Without ships, what will agencies like NIMASA and NPA be doing? An agency like the NPA keeps outsourcing dredging operations to foreign companies every year, thereby increasing the amount of capital flight lost to such exercises.
“It’s time indigenous capacity is improved in Nigeria’s maritime sector.
“If the Minister does not think it’s time to disburse the CVFF, then he should make legislative efforts to cancel the payment of the fund. We cannot continue making 2 percent payment into a bottomless pit.”