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Cabotage Fund Rises by N13bn

By on March 26, 2011

The Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) is now N13 billion richer, the Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman has said.
CVFF was initiated by the Federal Government to ensure the active participation of Nigerians in inland and coastal shipping trade in the country.

Though inland and coastal shipping is statutorily meant for Nigerians, foreigners and their collaborators have dominated the sector over the years, leading to excessive capital flight and the marginalisation of indigenous ship owners.
It was in a bid to address the imbalance that the Federal Government came up with t he idea of empowering indigenous ship operators to take their rightful place in inland and coastal shipping.

The fund, which is being managed by the nation’s apex maritime regulatory authority, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is meant to ensure the successful implementation of the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003.

Suleiman who disclosed this in Abuja stated that modalities were being worked out for the disbursement of the fund to facilitate indigenous shipping.

According to him, the Cabotage Act 2003 was designed to develop local capacity and grow the indigenous shipping industry.
He explained that the Act established the CVFF to help increase indigenous tonnage operating in the domestic water transportation services of the Nigerian maritime sector and to assist the growth of local ship building and repairs.

The minister explained that to address the inability of the nation to carry substantial part of the cargoes generated by its international water-borne trade, the management of NIMASA had received approval to establish a national carrier.

Suleiman said this would be established under a public/private partnership scheme. “The modalities for the successful take-off of this scheme are being finalised with the constitution of an inter-agency committee’’, Suleiman said.

The Minister also disclosed that for the period ended December 2010, 285 vessels were registered by the Nigerian Ship Register
Office making the total of 1,371 with a gross registered tonnage of 1.9 million tonnes.

Suleiman said intervention projects like Maritime Policy Advisory Group (MAPAG) and the Nigerian Maritime Data Bank were being implemented.

According to him, the maritime data bank would serve the data needs of the maritime industry in West and Central Africa.

Source : Thisday