The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency says it is working with the Federal Ministry of Transportation to ensure the seamless distribution of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund.
At a ministerial retreat organised by Federal Ministry of Transport, NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said the fund is intact in the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA), from where it will be disbursed to eligible ship owners.
Jamoh said NIMASA had advertised for Expression of Interest from interested Primary Lending Institutions.
“We are following due process to ensure disbursement according to the guidelines. Eleven banks have been shortlisted and forwarded to our supervising ministry for further actions. The ministry has identified some grey areas, which are being addressed to ensure prompt disbursement of the CVFF,” he said.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had earlier hinted that despite the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari authorising disbursement of the CVFF to eligible ship owners, the money accrued to the fund would not be disbursed due to a glitch from the Federal Ministry of Finance.
“Concerning the disbursement of the Cabotage fund, the President made an approval saying we should go ahead and disburse. So also the Attorney General, but the law says it is private money. However, the Ministry of Finance has protested that it is a public fund, so what would I do? I’m handicapped,” the minister said.
He however stated that all the stakeholders concerned were making efforts to ensure that all problems preventing disbursement were resolved.