The management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA and the executives of the five approved Primary Lending Institutions (PLI) held a meeting today towards the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF).
The banks which include Union Bank, Zenith Bank, Jaiz Bank, Polaris Bank and UBA, were fully represented by their CEOs at the meeting which was held at the NIMASA board room.
Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Director General of NIMASA, who presided over the meeting said the banks’ engagement was necessary in order for the agency to learn from the banks’ lending and financial experiences and also for the banks to know about the essentials of CVFF.
This will help avoid the pitfalls of the CVFF’s predecessor, the Ship Acquisition and Ship Building Fund, SASBF and also help with the modalities for the disbursement.
Jamoh recalled that the SASBF collapsed because it was managed by the then National Maritime Authority, NMA and the Ministry of Transportation without the requisite knowledge of loan disbursement and recovery.
He said that till now over 8 ship owners have not paid back the SASBF loan.
He said the conclusion reached between the banks and NIMASA on the disbursement methods shall be discussed at a meeting between NIMASA, ship owners and other stakeholders.
“The final outcome of the large meeting shall form the fulcrum of the final decisions of the federal government on the disbursement.” Jamoh notified the bankers that CVFF funding is a counterpart one as NIMASA will bear 50%, the banks 35% and the ship owners will bear the rest.
The PLIs on their part, welcomed the development, commended NIMASA and the federal government and also assured their readiness to concur with the disbursement plan but requested more time, not later than one week, to do their research and get back to NIMASA management.