Minister Sets up Committee On CVFF Disbursement

L-R: Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, President, WIMAFRICA, Mrs. Jean Anichere and Director-General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, at the maritime stakeholders meeting on the guidelines for disbursement CVFF in Lagos on Thursday, January 23, 2020.

By Sandra Chukwunyere

Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi has said that a committee has been set up to come up with guidelines for disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds (CVFF) $200 million which translates to approximately N72 billion. 

He made this known today at a meeting on CVFF between the minister of transportation and relevant cabotage stakeholders in Lagos.

According to Amaechi, the fund was initially applied  to building university, building faculty of maritime in different university but this timearound it will be applied to Shipowners directly.

He said that the committee for developing the guidelines would be chaired by Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside with four to five other stakeholders.

“What we  agreed is to set up a committee that will come forward with the proposed guideline which will be presented to the National Assembly” adding that it is the committee that will determine if it will be a single digits or not.

Amaechi pointed that as part of efforts to mitigate the risk involved in the disbursement, the financial institutions would be involved and the fiscal risk would be borne by the banks involved.

“The banks will be involved in developing the criteria for the disbursement of the fund, so the risk will be borne by the lending institutions”, he said.

The minister also noted that the committee would determine the percentage interest to be inserted in the procurement of CVFF.

The Director General of NIMASA and Head of the committee to develop the guidelines, Peterside said the meeting was convened on the instance of the minister to discuss the singular issue of CVFF disbursement which the minister has got approval from the President Muhammadu Buhari.

He pointed that after extensive discussions by the stakeholders, it was decided that the committee should come up with the draft guidelines.

“The minister will study this draft and pass on to the National Assembly for approval in line with the Cabotage Act. Thereafter, we wI’ll move to the next phase of actual disbursement using the banks as platform for fundd to be disbursed,” he said.

When quizzed to reveal the timeframe for actual disbursement, Peterside stated that two factors would determine how soon the actual disbursement of CVFF takes place.

According to him, “One factor will be how soon the National Assembly approves the draft guidelines and the other factor will be that the provisions of the guidelines will have to be followed religiously by the participating banks. 

“Stakeholders have to meet these requirements before the disbursement of CVFF,” he said.

In her reaction, the Chairperson, Ship-owners Forum, Orakwusi expressed delight at the development noting that she was looking forward to the disbursement of the fund and a better shipping industry where the fund would be utilized judiciously.

She canvassed for a long spread of the interest rate on CVFF noting that ships last for thirty years and more.

According to Orakwusi, “It should be single digit interest and a lower figure for the single digit. There would be new guidelines and a new committee has been set up to develop the guidelines”.ReplyForward

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