FG mum on implementation of national fleet, CVFF disbursement

The Federal Government has remained silent on the implementation of the national fleet after five years, as well as the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) for vessel acquisition among indigenous operators.

The Federal Government had constituted a committee for National Fleet Implementation in 2016, setting a deadline of six months for the actualisation of a new national carrier that will fly the Nigerian flag on international waters and provide sea time training for Nigerian cadets.

However, since then, nothing has been heard from the Ministry of Transport, with findings showing that the national fleet idea may have hit the wall.

The current chairman of the committee for the national fleet implementation, who is also Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Emmanuel Jime, recently confirmed to journalists that incentives from the government are the major reason the national fleet is yet to see the light of the day.

He disclosed that there are incentives that need to be put in place for the private sector to get on board and buy into the project, noting that those incentives are yet to be released by the government agencies that are supposed to support the project.

Jime, who appears not to have full details regarding the national fleet, said there are different stages for the implementation process, which include the consultation stage, the incentive stage among others.

He blamed the lack of incentive from the government as the main reason the private sector is yet to buy into the project.

“There are stages of consultations because there are incentives that need to be in place for the private sector to get on board and buy into this process. It is capital intensive and there is no way a businessman will put his money into something that he is not sure of, unless he is satisfied that the framework will guarantee returns on his capital,” he explained.

“Government normally steps in to grant some incentives, then we have the CBN, Ministry of Trade; these are agencies responsible for how we can articulate that. So we have a set of incentives, we are now moving to the agency that will grant that, it is not only one person that has the responsibility to grant those incentives. Unless we have those incentives in place, we won’t be able to get the private sector to buy in,” he said.

Meanwhile, ship owners have again lamented the non-disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), while describing it as a scam, owing to the issues surrounding the ownership of the fund.

The CVFF was inserted into the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act of 2003 otherwise referred to as Cabotage Act 2003, in order to provide funds for vessel acquisition among indigenous operators.

The source of the fund is a two per cent contribution by indigenous ship owners from every contract executed in the nation’s waters.

The collection and disbursement of the CVFF is backed by the provisions of Section 42(1)-(2) of the Cabotage Act 2003, which aims to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity by providing financial assistance to Nigerian operators in domestic coastal shipping.

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, during a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, had said the CVFF does not belong to indigenous ship owners, but a government fund meant to be used for public projects.

However, the ship owners had in 2021 put up a letter agitating that the funds do not belong to the public but for them, however since 2021 there seems to be graveyard silence regarding the state of the fund.

A member of the Nigeria Indigenous Ship owners Association (NISA), Ayorinde Adedoyin lamented the uncertainty surrounding the CVFF, this is even as he said the CVFF seems to be a scam, adding that some people are using the fund for their own benefits.

According to him, “this whole thing looks like a scam to me because we have not been able to really define who owns the fund, if it is the government or ship owners?

“Who is benefiting from the CVFF, is it the CBN or the banks who are using the money? These are things we should know, but with time I am very sure all these will be made open.”

Also, the President of the Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Dr. Mkgeorge Onyung said there is no update regarding the state of the fund.

“With the minister having resigned, one would have expected that by now the other minister would have been engaged. I don’t know if handing over notes have been done, but presently all I can tell you is that we are yet to hear any update as regards the CVFF disbursement,” he said.

Source: Guardian.ng

Previous Post
Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com