Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has said the Federal Government will soon commence the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund to indigenous shipowners.
This is coming after a delay of the fund for 15 years.
Amaechi, who spoke at a stakeholders’ appreciation night organised by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council in Lagos, said his ministry had finally received the approval of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to commence the disbursement of the fund by January 2020.
The CVFF is under the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency while the fund is being warehoused at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The CVFF scheme was introduced in 2004 mainly as contributions by shipowners and they are expected to access it to purchase new vessels as well as maintain the existing ones.
But indigenous shipowners have said none of them has been able to access the fund since its establishment.
Amaechi said, “I have got the approval to disburse the CVFF. I just want to use this opportunity to inform stakeholders that the President has approved the caboatge fund and by Tuesday, I will meet with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and NIMASA to look at the dynamics of the fund.
“In January, we will invite the operators for their proposals and to see the nature of their business and how they can get the aid. The President has given the approval and we will begin the process to disburse it by next year.”