Shipowners To Access $700m Vessel Acquisition Fund At Single Digit – NIMASA
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Tuesday, disclosed that Local shipowners will access the $700million Cabotage Vessels Finance Fund (CVFF), at single digit interest rate.
LEADERSHIP reports that indigenous shipowners have claimed about double digit interest rate, saying it’s killing the nation’s shipping sector.
However, speaking at the Maiden edition of the Annual lecture organized by Nigeria Institute of Maritime Studies, University of Lagos (UNILAG), the director general of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, explained that the fund to be accessed by the local shipowners is $700million and at a single digit interest rate.
According to him, shipowners who are the beneficiary of the fund and the Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs), will provide $350million to augment the $350million that’s in possession of the agency.
He stated that the disbursement of the CVFF would create huge number of jobs for the teeming unemployed Nigerian youths.
Jamoh said, “the agency already have a total of $350million as our contributions to the Fund while the PLIs and the local ship owners that wants to benefit from the fund will contribute 35 percent and 15 percent respectively to acquire the targeted number of vessels.
“From my own calculations, a total of $700million is expected to be expended on the acquisition and the loan will be given at a single digit rate.
“Besides the using the Blue Economy to drive local shipping growth, the initiative will also awaken the nation’s dying marine insurance sub-sector. The Blue Economy initiative is every body’s business as the benefits will also be for everybody.
of life, we need to exploit in a sustainable manner for our economic benefits.”
Also speaking, the minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye, said that the government would do everything possible to make it easier for Shipowners to acquire more ships with a view to growing the Blue Economy initiative.
Adegoroye, however, disclosed that the Transportation ministry would do everything to ensure that the CVFF is disbursed before the end of the current administration.
According to him, if the fund couldn’t be disbursed in the current administration, the incoming administration which is also of the All Progressive Congress (APC), would ensure disbursement.
“The fisheries sub-sector is another area the government is working very to create jobs for our people and make water transport easier for Nigerians. Absolutely, that is what every responsible government would do, but I can assure you that government will do everything to make it easier for Shipowners to get more ships for us to continue growing our blue economy.
“It makes sense for every responsible government to do that, once it gets too expensive, it becomes a problem and even for our economy. We are hoping and praying that we disbursed the fund before the end of the current administration, we have a short time, we have barely eight weeks but I know they are working day and night to achieve this. It is possible during this administration and if not, government is a continuum. It is a policy of government and nobody can do any thing about it,” he minister stated.