Headline National News Oil&Gas

NIMASA to disburse $700m Cabotage funds 

The House of Representatives has urged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, to continue the planned disbursement of $700 million Cabotage Vessel Finance Funds (CVFF) to Nigerian ship owners.

The Chairman House Committee on Nigerian Content Development Mr Legor Idagbo, disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja. 

He said the decision followed resolutions reached at the sitting of the House last month where it deliberated on a motion on the Planned Disbursement of $700 Million Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund, investigate the Total Accrual of the Fund, and referred same to the House Committee on Nigerian Content Development.

The lawmaker stated that the Committee requested the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the Ministry of Transportation to provide detailed information on the total amount accrued to the Fund and disbursements since inception. 

” The Committee met with the Minister of Transportation and the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ({NIMASA) on Thursday, 11 May, 2023 to find out about the details concerning the matter. After a thorough analysis of the various submissions on the matter coupled with the explanations given by the Ministry and NIMASA, the Committee discovered that due process was followed in the planned disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund. The Committee notes that the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) is a fund that was set up in 2003 by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act. 

According to him, the Fund was established for the purpose of developing indigenous ship acquisition capacity, and to provide financial assistance to indigenous shipping operators. 

Mr Idagbo explained that the committee realized that there is a lack of Capacity amongst indigenous/ Domestic Coastal operators in Nigeria, thus the reason Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) still awards contracts to foreign shipping Companies.

He however urged NIMASA to ensure that the disbursement does not violate any of the extant laws made by the National Assembly.

Reporting by Ibrahim Sheheu, Editing by Hadiza Abdulrahman and Julian Osamoto