President, Alumni of Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron (AMANO) Emmanuel Maiguwa, has said that the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) does not belong to indigenous shipowners but a government fund, which belongs to all Nigerians, hence it should not operate as a mutual contribution.
The CVFF, created under the Cabotage Act, of 2003, provides for two percent contribution by indigenous shipowners involved in the coastal and inland shipping trade in Nigeria.
Maiguwa, who stated this in an article titled, “The Need for a Framework for Disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) for the Development of Nigerian Tonnage and Coastal Shipping’ made available to Maritime Today online said there is a need to develop a framework on how the fund should be disbursed to ensure the goal of developing local and indigenous capacity in shipping is met.
According to him, disbursing the funds on a simple guideline developed by the Minister alone will not serve the intent of the CVFF and will be a waste of resources.
While noting the need for quick disbursement of the fund, Maiguwa, who is also the CEO of Bricks Mursten Mattoni Ltd, however, calls for caution in releasing the fund so that it would be used efficiently for the purpose it was collected.
He said, “The CVFF is a form of intervention made possible by the Federal government to drive a program that will benefit Nigeria. As clearly shown, the funds belong to all Nigerians under the government’s leadership to disburse for the purpose it was collected. It does not belong to any specific group or individual and should not operate as a mutual contribution.
“The disbursement of the funds cannot meet the intention of the Act without careful study and strategy to ensure the goal of developing local and indigenous capacity in shipping is met. Disbursing the funds on a simple guideline developed by the Minister alone will not serve the intent of the CVFF and will be a waste of resources.
“The actual beneficiaries of the funds should only be determined by the outcome of the research and development strategy put in place. Anyone who falls into such a category and is interested in the fund should be able to apply for the funds. His capability to repay within the development strategy should be a determinant for approval.
“Caution should be exercised to ensure value is gotten out of the CVFF. But, while caution is necessary, time is of the essence. Therefore, a suitable framework is critical at this point to take advantage of both the funds that have accrued and the potential in our shipping industry. A thriving Blue Economy for Nigeria is the trigger to releasing Africa’s maritime potential to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.”