… Explains Why It Named Vessel after Late Otunba Folarin
By Shola Fadeyi
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency( NIMASA) is to hold is first set of meetings this year connected with the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) with the relevant banks associated with the scheme , this week .
Dr Bashir Jamooh made the clarification , while speaking during a Colloquium organised by the maritime friends of the late octogenarian , Otunba Kunle Folarin , in Lagos, over the weekend.
According to him, the next meeting with the stakeholders, would be to finalise the modalities for the fund’s disbursement.He also said that , there would be a public hearing on the review of the Cabotage Act, which has passed through the House of Representatives Committee, and now going to the Senate.
The former Minister of Interior, and Chairman of Integrated Oil and Services Limited, who was the Chairman of the occasion, said CVFF’s name should be changed to ‘Ship Acquisition and Ship Building Fund’ as was the case before, so that beneficiaries can fund acquisition of ocean going vessels.
He commended the choice of the topic of the CVFF for the Colloquium, saying that it would serve as a good update to discussion on the effective disbursement of the fund.
A Maritime and energy expert, Dr. Chris Asoluka called for the removal of waiver clauses in the Cabotage Act, for the fact that it creates opportunities for foreign vessels in Nigeria’s coastal waters and has stifled indigenous shipping in the country.
According to him, a caveat or timeline to give waivers to foreign vessels for five years while growing indigenous capacity for the service would have been inserted in the act. He said it was unfortunate that twenty years after the Cabotage Act was passed, the Transport Minister still has the powers to give waivers to foreign operators.
On the honour done Late Otunba Kunle Folarin, he said that the need to appreciate all the huge selfless contributions of the former Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Consultative Council(NPCC) , late Otunba Folarin, to the development of the maritime sector, has made it to name one of its expected vessels from abroad after him.
Jamoh who confirmed that the two vessels would be arriving Nigeria soon, said Otunba Folarin, was very passionate about the progress of the maritime sector, that he was always ready to use his deep knowledge of the sector, to resolve issues connected with it .
While delivering his good will message at the occasion, te President of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Mr Mkgeorge Onyung said, an annual lecture should be institutionalized , as part of immortalizing the memories of the late Otunba Folarin.
Many industry stakeholders such as the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), Nigerian Indigenous Ship-owners Association (NISA), Chief Isaac Jolapomo; Chairman, Sea Transport Limited, Alh. Aminu Umar; former Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mrs. Ify Akenrele; Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi and Anishere among others who delivered a paper titled Ensuring Effective Disbursement of the CVFF were at the occasion.
The Colloquium is one of the series of events lined up to honour the late Octogenerian , who passed away recently , a few days to his 82nd birthday.
A night of Tributes earlier slated for him for Wednesday, January 25, was held yesterday , Sunday , due to the proposed visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Lagos , this week , , which is expected to cause some traffic snarl., while the Wake is Songs slated for January 26 and interment , January 27, 2023.