The Federal Government has said the $250 million that has accrued in the Cabottage Vessel Financing Fund will soon be disbursed.The CVF Fund is to be disbursed to
indigenous shipping operators to enable them upscale capacity.
Minister of Transportation, Mu-azu Jaji Sambo disclosed this on when he visited the National Inland Waterways Authority, Area Office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Our correspondent reports that the Cabotage fund hasn’t been disbursed since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power due to lack of capacity by indigenous shipping companies to leverage the fund for what it’s really meant for. Previously the fund was leveraged the funds to things it is not meant to fund hence the FG’S decision to until when local shipping firms developed capacity to use the funds.
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 described the CVFF as a low hanging fruit.
He said the fund “would support maritime activities which is the gateway to the nation’s economy, adding that “if we get our acts right, the maritime industry can replace the revenue from the oil” .
Speaking on the BUA Ports and Terminal Limited, situated at the Rivers Port, the Minister expressed delight at the progress of work, saying: “we are making good progress, bringing this place to a world standard,” but urged the operators to ensure completion by 2025.
Furthermore, the Minister assured that as part of the railway modernization policy, rail lines would be linked to the seaports for effective and efficient haulage of cargoes.