A maritime practitioner and Master Mariner, Captain Adewale Ishola, has urged the federal government to stop direct disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to intending beneficiaries to avert the collapse of the scheme.
Ishola, who disclosed this to Vanguard at Oron, Akwa Ibom State during a training programme for maritime journalists, said that the funds should be disbursed with the involvement of the company from whom the beneficiary intends to buy the ship.
According to him, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the benefiting ship owner and the financial institution should also be involved to ensure effective monitoring of the funds so the it is used for the acquisition of classical vessels.
He pointed out that the CVFF fund must be tied to a ship building company, especially those that has docking facilities so that the money is not released directly to the beneficiaries.”
This is necessary so that we don’t fall into the same trap we had with the Ship Building and Acquisition Fund where people bought rust buckets, some people never even bought ships””Let there be a concrete agreement between the ship building facility, the ship owner, and NIMASA husbanding everything, NIMASA will approve what kind of vessel they are going to buy or build, this is part of its function, NIMASA has a role to play, its not just to give them free hand to do what they like with the money” he said.
Meanwhile, he noted that for the purchase of classical vessels, the master mariner cleared that “We also have to look at one aspect, what type of vessels do the beneficiaries want, we have to know what they intend to buy, in the oil gas sector they use all kinds of vessels, it doesn’t have to be tankers, it can be supply vessels, it can be crew boats, we don’t know what these six companies have applied for” he pointed out.
Information from Vanguard was used in this report.