The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo has urged Primary Lending Institutions and other stakeholders to fast-track efforts towards quick disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund.
This was contained in a statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Henshaw Ogubike.
Sambo stated this at a meeting with representative Heads of the PLIs, including the Managing Directors of Polaris Bank, UBA, Union Bank, Zenith Bank, Jaiz Bank, the Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration Agency and other stakeholders.
He reiterated that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had approved the immediate disbursement of the CVFF through five primary lending institutions, namely: Polaris, Zenith, Union, Jaiz and UBA banks.
The CVFF is an intervention fund created by the federal government for the development of indigenous shipping capacity in Nigeria for the maintenance of existing vessels or the purchase of new ones.
According to the minister, the president also approved that the two per cent charge that makes up the Cabotage Fund should continue to accrue to the Central Bank of Nigeria Treasury Single Account and each time the account hits $50m, the minister of transportation should, on the recommendation of NIMASA, direct the CBN to release the amount to any of the five banks for disbursement”.
The minister noted that it has taken 17 years to get presidential approval for the disbursement and charged the key stakeholders to expedite action on the necessary details to facilitate the quick disbursement of the funds.
We have received the approval of the president to disburse the funds. It is now left for the key players to actualise the approval by the president,” he said.
Sambo said the maritime sector would be a major income earner for the country if properly managed, adding that it was fulfilling for him to lead the historic process of disbursing the Cabotage Funds.
Section 44 part VIII of the Cabotage Act 2003 provides for the establishment of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund and a two per cent deduction on cabotage-protected trade earnings goes into the savings for the development of indigenous tonnage (ships) in Nigeria.
The bankers and other critical stakeholders had hours of closed-door deliberation after the minister’s remark, to chart out a clear course for the final disbursements in the coming days.