Hope Brightens on NIMASA Disbursement of over $350m CVFF before May

NIMASA DG, Dr Bashir Jamoh (Right). presenting . a souvenir to one of the CEO of one of the five Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs), involved in the disbursement of the CVFF , when he had a meeting with them at the Agency's office , in Lagos yesterday.

… As Agency Tasks Banks on Modalities

By Shola Fadeyi

 There are strong indications that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, ( NIMASA)   will disburse the over $350 million  Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF), before May this year, when the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will terminate.

This followed NIMASA DG , Dr  Bashir Jamoh  ‘s optimism  yesterday,   that  due to the  efforts that are being made by the Agency on the disbursement  of the fund, ‘’ the ship owners  , who are the direct beneficiaries of the fund , will have a firm commitment of receiving their new ships in 60 days time’’.

Jamoh disclosed this at a meeting NIMASA had yesterday, at his Boardroom in Lagos,  with the Managing Directors of the five  Primary Lending Institutions(PLIs) , which are banks that are part of the scheme,  in a series of such parleys, the Agency has lined up to ensure that the fund is disbursed  before May, this year.

  The CVFF is an intervention fund created by the Federal Government for the development of indigenous shipping capacity in Nigeria, to enable ship owners maintain existing vessels or purchase new ones. 

The Fund  comprises two percent of the  proceeds   of contracts executed  by indigenous shipowners  on Nigeria’s  coastal waters  to develop cabotage fleet and local shipping capacity.

The PLIs , namely  Union Bank, Zenith Bank, Jaiz Bank, Polaris Bank and UBA  are  expected to contribute 35 per cent of the funding for the scheme, NIMASA, on behalf of the Federal Government ,50 per cent , while the beneficiaries, which are shipping companies , are to be responsible for the balance.

NIMASA’s  ongoing efforts on the scheme,  is also sequel to President  Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for the disbursement of the fund last December, due to the Transportation Minister, Muazu Sambo’s promise to ensure that  the Fund is given out    by the current administration. .

The need to accelerate the process of disbursement of the fund  has also made Jamoh to issue a  72 hours ultimatum to  the PLIs to release their own  modalities for giving out the funds to the beneficiaries at the meeting he had with them.

 After the  meeting with the Banks CEOs, he had   advised them to put heads together at the Agency ‘s Board Room  to ensure that  they give him their positions on the disbursement modalities in time  , so that he can meet with the shipping companies among other stakeholders latest by next week.

Apart from tasking the PLIs on the  modalities for the disbursement , the NIMASA DG had also explained that his   engagement with them  was to tap from their financial and lending experiences, to avoid the pitfalls of the CVFF’s predecessor- the Ship Acquisition and Ship Building Fund (SASBF).

According to him, the final outcome of the large meeting, NIMASA intends to have with the shipping companies, PLIs  will  form the kernel  of the final decisions of the federal government on the disbursement.

The PLIs  however lauded  NIMASA and the federal government on the proposed disbursement of the Fund,  and expressed their readiness to key into the arrangements , but requested for about a week , to do their own homework and report back to the NIMASA management.