From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
A synergy is being explored between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Bank of Industry (BoI) for the best way of funding the nation’s maritime investments with the Cabotage Vessels Financing Fund (CVFF) and the Nigeria Content Intervention (NCI) Fund.
Both organisations, in separate presentations during the maiden Nigerian Maritime Finance Fair organised in Lagos by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON), expressed the need for collaboration to maximize the opportunities in both funds for the development of the nation’s shipping sector.
BoI had disclosed that it had already disbursed $82 million from the $200 million fund from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and was ready to assist indigenous investments in ship building/acquisition and repairs.
The Managing Director, Kayode Pitan, told maritime stakeholders that companies with 51 per cent Nigerian equity and above, and gets at least 40 per cent of their raw materials locally were eligible for the loan, which has a five-year tenure, inclusive of one-year moratorium. Pitan, who was represented by Victor Agina, urged NIMASA to partner the bank for the management and disbursement of the CVFF.
On its part, however, NIMASA said it was awaiting the National Assembly’s amendments to the Cabotage Act to enable its disbursement. According to the NIMASA Director-General, who was represented by the Head, Cabotage Services, Victor Egejuru, “you cannot talk about capacity building without fund.
“It will come from other sources, including the BoI. What we have done is to meet to agree before we now have a formal meeting with the representatives of NIMASA and BoI. Don’t forget that BOI has done well with NCDMB.
“I also told you the problem we have with CVFF. It is not NIMASA, the agency does not have a problem. It is the structure of the CVFF – the act itself, which is now being looked into or reviewed by the National Assembly.”
Meanwhile, even though it spent about N50 billion on its recently acquired floating dry dock, and is reportedly spending over $12 million monthly on it while it idles away, NIMASA is now searching for private investors to partner for efficient, gainful and optimal running of the facility.
“Yes, we have a dry dock but don’t forget that NIMASA is a regulator and there is actually no way we can run a dry dock by ourselves,” Egejuru disclosed. “So, there is a possibility of getting into a PPP (public/private partnership) for the dry dock to be fully utilized.”