Uncertainty seems to have trailed the disbursement of $200 million Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds (CVFF) timeline as a specific date for the disbursement is yet to be ascertained.
The Federal Government had announced that it would disburse the CVFF to indigenous shipowners after 15 years delay.
Amaechi had stated that his ministry had finally received the approval of ¡President Muhammadu Buhari to commence the disbursement of the fund by January 2020.
However, addressing newsmen yesterday, at a stakeholders’ meeting with dhipowners, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said before the funds can be disbursed, a committee has to be set up, which will be headed by the Director General of NIMASA and four other stakeholders, who will come up with guideline for disbursement of the CVFF.
He said before he became the minister, the funds were initially applied to building university, building faculty of maritime in different universities, but, however, assured that this timearound, it will be applied to shipowners directly.
“What we have agreed today is to set up a committee that will come forward with the proposed guideline, which will be presented to the National Assembly. It is the committee that will determine if it will be a single digit or not.”
Amaechi further explained 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 funds, so the risk will be borne by the lending institutions,” the minister said.
The minister also noted that the committee would determine the percentage interest to be inserted in the procurement of CVFF.
Also, speaking at event, the Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the CVFF and the provision for disbursement.
“You are aware that the meeting was conveyed at the instance of the honourable minister of transportation. It was to discuss one single item, the CVFF for which the minister has gotten authorisation from the President.
“So, after extensive consultations, it was decided by the stakeholders here that the committee be set up to come up with a draft guideline, which the honourable minister will study and pass on to the National Assembly for approval in line with the provisions of the cabotage. After then, move to the next phase of actual disbursement using the banks as platform to disperse the fund.”
When asked if the funds will be disbursed before the second quarter of the year, the DG stated that the disbursement would be determined by two factors, firstly he said if the National Assembly approves the proposed guidelines and secondly the financial institutions.