The management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Wednesday met with the representatives of Jaiz Bank, United Bank of Africa (UBA), Union Bank, Zenith Bank and Polaris Bank for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF).
The five banks have been approved by the Federal Government as the Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) for the CVFF.
NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh said the meeting was a major step towards the implementation of the presidential directive on the disbursement of the fund.
“We are engaging the banks on the management and disbursement of the CVFF because they are the ones who have the professional know-how in fund management and this would help us in the reduction of risk in order to avoid the same mistakes of the Ship Acquisition and Ship Building Fund,” Jamoh said.
The banks are expected to come up the interest rate, tenor, collateral, and other requirements needed by Nigerian ship owners to access the cabotage fund.
The Managing Director of Jaiz bank, Sirajo Salisu, who spoke on behalf of the PLIs, assured of prompt action towards disbursing the funds, noting that interested ship owners should be ready to abide by the provisions of the Cabotage Act.
“We will try our best to partner with the proposed beneficiaries of these funds and I believe they are much aware that this is not a grant. This is money that is meant for a purpose and we will ensure that that purpose is achieved to the benefits of the country,” he said.
The Coastal and Inland Shipping Act 2003, otherwise known as the Cabotage Act, requires a ship owner to raise 15% of the capital needed to acquire a vessel for cabotage operation while NIMASA and the PLIs will provide 50% and 35% respectively as loans for the purpose.