$700 Million CVFF to be Disbured before May 29th - NIMASA Boss

$700 Million CVFF to be Disbured before May 29th - NIMASA Boss

...Says Nigeria ready for the Blue Economy 

Kathy Kyari 
The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh has said the current administration is planning to pay almost $700 million of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to Nigerian shipowners before the end of its term on May 29, 2023.

He claims that in order to grow the maritime industry and give Nigerians jobs, each recipient will receive $25 million to procure a vessel.

Jamoh stated this on Tuesday while delivering a lecture on the topic "From Crude to Blue - Nigeria's Blue Economy: The Necessity of Maritime Domain Awareness and Good Governance" at the Maiden Annual Lecture of the Institute of Maritime Studies (IMS), University of Lagos.

He highlighted that NIMASA would contribute 50% of the monies, while the main financial banks would contribute 35% and the shipowners would contribute 15%.

As a result of the fall in oil prices in other parts of the world, which has hurt Nigeria's ability to generate revenue, Jamoh noted that the country's high unemployment rate may be resolved by the blue economy. He also pointed out that the Deep Blue Project, a national maritime security initiative, has successfully put an end to the piracy problem that had been threatening trade in the region.

“We are about to commence the disbursement of the CVFF, to allocate about $25m. $350 million is the 50% of NIMASA’s contribution to the fund. By the guidelines, the primary lending institutions will have to provide 35%, while the shipowners come up with 15%, making 50%. If we have $350 million as 50% contribution from NIMASA, then you are expecting another $350 million from the primary lending institutions and shipowners, making a total of $700 million.

“We will give an average of $25 million per vessel according to the guidelines and we have about $700 million for the CVFF. Our expectation is that each beneficiary will get not more than $25 million. This is for economic growth and to improve livelihood; the issue of jobs must be improved, as we are moving from crude to blue. Look at the sectors, how many jobs can the oil industry provide at this given period of time? Then you look at the maritime sector and the type of jobs they can provide.

“With the capacity of the ship, it can provide 71 direct jobs. When you divide 25 by 700, how many ships can you provide under the government’s guidance on ship financing? So you see the number of jobs the CVFF alone can provide. You can imagine if each ship produced 200 direct and indirect employment, the amount of jobs shipowners can provide. So, the issue of lack of employment in the country, definitely, blue will have to provide it, if we are serious.

"For some time it has been quiet, but we are not sleeping. We are in the last lap. We have consulted with the primary lending institutions and have engaged a consultant. It is out target that this loan will not be business as usual. We insisted that it must be one single digit loan. There are many grey areas like admistrative charges, tenure from the bank and others.

“This is what our consultant and the lending institutions are trying to harmonise and agree upon a position. Once the consultant submits the report, it will be passed to the supervising ministry. If they are comfortable with it and approve, the next thing is disbursement. So, I still believe and hope that we are going to disburse the fund before the end of this administration". 

Speaking on Nigeria's preparedness for the Blue Economy, the Agency Boss said, "We are ready, we are already into blue economy, what we just intend to do is to see the sustainability. CVFF is a blue economy, I have mentioned the issue of using ferries, it is blue economy, I have mentioned the ship repairs and ship building industries, these ones are blue economy and a lot of others. We are ready, we are on to it, but what is left now is how to structure it and get a sustainability, so that we can get the use employment being expanded and we make sure that the revenue is accrued to the government and also get a sector that will compliment the revenue of the oil and gas industry that we are largely dependent on".

In terms of building capacities, he said NIMASA established the IMS in six universities spread out among the nation's six geographical regions and a university in Okerenkoko, Delta State, to improve Nigeria's ability to capitalize on its share of the global blue economy, which is estimated to be worth over $2.5 trillion.

Going further outside the maritime security event, Jamoh disclosed he had meetings with several parties to discuss the problem of marine cables.
In terms of building capacities, he said NIMASA established the IMS in six universities spread out among the nation's six geographical regions and a university in Okerenkoko, Delta State, to improve Nigeria's capacity to capitalize on its share of the global blue economy, which is estimated to be worth over $2.5 trillion.

“We don’t want to be seen as a revenue generating agency because many people began to perceive that it’s the 3% fee that we want to pursue. Our emphasis is on safety and the possibility of hoodlums using marine cables to create chaos or damages under the water. We must know what cables are underneath the water, who owns the cables and where they are located. So, we are presently developing a guideline for marine cables.

"the NCC, the Ministry of Environment, and other stakeholders must be involved and we must have Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and guidelines. All necessary stakeholders are involved in the development of these guidelines and when we finish, we are going to involve the Ministry of Justice so that we don’t have any lacuna. The Federal Ministry of Transportation will also be a part of it”.

The opinion of Dr. Jamoh on the distribution of the CVFF was mirrored by Prince Ademola Adegoroye, Minister of State for Transportation.

“I can assure you that government will do everything that will make it easy for shipowners to get more ships, so that we can continue to grow out blue economy. It makes sense for any responsible government to do that. If it gets too expensive, then it becomes a problem even for our economy.

“We are hoping and praying that the CVFF will be disbursed within the next eight weeks, but if it doesn’t work, we also expect that because government is a continuum, the incoming government, which is also an APC government will continue from where we have stopped”.

In addition, the Institute of Maritime Studies, which was founded in 2013 to address the labor shortfall in the industry, has graduated 180 students to far, according to UNILAG Vice Chancellor, Prof. Folashade Ogunsola.

She adds that the institution, which initially offered three courses, has grown to six, and 293 students are currently enrolled in various programs.

Prof. Ogunsola outlined some of the goals of the agreement between the institution and NIMASA, including the development of academic and research capacity for the maritime industry, exchange of concepts, ideas, and materials, academic training and exchange, and collaborative research, among others, and stated that the school is open to private sector partnerships that will aid in preparing the students for the workforce.

Following Dr. Jamoh's speech, the institution will prioritize the following areas, she said: “We had a previous agenda that we were working on, but the University is very interested in manpower development. We are also seriously working on aquaculture and looking towards Marine Engineering.

“We are looking at all these areas and planning to expand. These are things that take a little while, but we think we have some advantages. Nigeria is blessed as a coastal nation and have a lot to benefit if we take advantage of the natural providence it has in the sea”.

University management, students, transportation experts, shipowners, and other industry players were also present at the occasion.

Post a Comment