The President, Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Mr Aminu Umar, has called on the Nigeria’s Government to intervene in delayed disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to sustain shipping ventures. Umar made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Sunday.
NAN reports that ship owners have been worried over the non-disbursement of the sum of more than $100m being administered by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The fund has been growing in the last 14 years when the Cabotage and Inland Shipping Act 2003 came into force. There is need for government to make the CVFF fund transparent so that our members will have access to it.
“So far, we do not know why the CVFF has not been disbursed and government through NIMASA has not told us why it’s not being disbursed,”
He said that presently, Nigeria had more than 20 active shipowners in the downstream sector of the oil and gas sector, adding that there were over 100 ship owners operating upstream.
The NISA boss also pleaded with the Insurance companies to remove the “Worries Zone Charges’’ which came up due to threats on Nigerian waters as a result of Niger Delta crisis.
He said that Nigerian coasts should be removed from “Worries Zone” category because there was no more crisis in the Niger Delta.
Umar said that in spite of the numerous charges being paid by ship owners, government still charged “Sea Protection Levy’’.
The shipowners wondered why the Insurance companies had not removed Nigeria from the list of “Worries Zones’’, saying that ship owners were still paying huge sums as charges.
NAN reports that NIMASA Director-General, Dr Dakuku Peterside had said that the agency was pushing for the release of the CVFF once ship owners comply with the prescribed ways of accessing the fund.
Peterside said that the agency was determined to disburse the fund according to the rules and regulations guiding it.