Transport minister gives banks marching orders on CVFF disbursement

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By Ray Ugochukwu

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has called for a concerted effort by key stakeholders to make the quick disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) a reality.

In a statement by the Ministry, signed by Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr Henshaw Ogubike, the Minister made the call in Abuja at a meeting with representative heads of the Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs), the Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers (MD/CEOs) of Polaris Bank, UBA, Union Bank, Zenith Bank, Jaiz Bank, the DG Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the MD Shipping of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other stakeholders.

Sambo with Bashir Jamoh, DG, NIMASA and others.

According to the statement, the minister reiterated that President Buhari had approved the immediate disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) through five primary lending institutions, namely Polaris, Zenith, Union, Jaiz and UBA banks

According to him, “The President also approved that the 2.0 per cent charge that makes up the Cabotage Fund should continue to accrue to the CBN Treasury Single Account (TSA) and each time the account hits $50m, the Minister of Transportation should, on the recommendation of NIMASA, direct the CBN to release the amount to any of the five banks for disbursement”.

The Minister noted that it had taken 17 years to get presidential approval for the disbursement and charged the key stakeholders to expedite action on the necessary details to facilitate the quick disbursement of the funds.

Sambo with MD/CEOs of PLIs

“We have received the approval of the President to disburse the funds. It is now left for the key players to actualise the approval by the President”, he said.

Sambo said the maritime sector would be a major income earner for the country if properly managed, adding that it was fulfilling for him to lead the historic process of disbursing the Cabotage Funds.

Section 44 part VIII of the Cabotage Act 2003 provides for the establishment of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) and a 2.0 per cent deduction on cabotage-protected trade earnings goes into the savings for the development of indigenous tonnage (ships) in Nigeria.

The bankers and other critical stakeholders had hours of closed-door deliberation after the minister’s remark, to chart out a clear course for the final disbursements in the coming days


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