Transport Minister Meets Bank Chiefs, Seeks Quick Disbursement of CVFF

L-R: Managing Director, Jaiz Bank, Surajo Salisu; Managing Director Polaris Bank, Adekunle Sonola; Deputy Managing Director, Zenith Bank, Adaora Umeoji; Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo; Managing Director of UBA, Oliver Alawuba, and Executive Director/CFO of Union bank, Joe Mbulu when the bank chiefs met with the Minister in Abuja on Wednesday to agree on modalities for disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund.

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has called for a concerted effort by key stakeholders to make quick disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) a reality.

The Minister made the call in Abuja at a meeting with representatives of of the Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs). The PLIs include Polaris Bank, UBA, Union Bank, Zenith Bank and Jaiz Bank.

The Director General of NIMASA and head of the shipping arm of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) and other stakeholders also attended the meeting.

Sambo reiterated that President Buhari had approved the immediate disbursement of the fund through five primary lending institutions.

“The President also approved that the 2% charge that makes up the Cabotage Fund should continue to accrue to the CBN Treasury Single Account (TSA) and each time the account hits $50 million, the Minister of Transportation should, on the recommendation of NIMASA, direct the CBN to release the amount to any of the five banks for disbursement,” Sambo said.

The Minister, who noted that it has taken 17 years to get presidential approval for disbursement of the fund, charged the key stakeholders to expedite action on the necessary details to facilitate the quick disbursement.

“We have received the approval of the President to disburse the funds.  It is now left for the key players to actualise the approval by the President”, he said.

Sambo said the maritime sector would be a major income earner for the country if properly managed, adding that it was fulfilling for him to lead the historic process of disbursing the cabotage vessel fund.

Section 44 part VIII of the Cabotage Act 2003 provides for the establishment of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) and a 2% deduction on cabotage-protected trade earnings goes into the savings for the development of indigenous tonnage (ships) in Nigeria.

The bankers and other critical stakeholders had hours of closed-door deliberation after the minister’s remark, to chart out a clear course for the final disbursements in the coming days.


Source: Ships&Ports

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