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Saraki Restates Ministry’s Commitment To Disburse $350m CVFF To Shipowners

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The Minister of State for Transport, Senator Gbemi Saraki, has reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to indigenous shipping community.

According to Saraki, the Ministry will work with the National Assembly for the disbursement of the fund which value is now put at $350million.

Speaking at an interactive session with Journalists in Lagos, Saraki described as disheartening and national shame the fact that the disbursement has taken this long since the passage of the Cabotage Shipping law in 2003.

CVFF replaced the Ship Acquisition and Ship Building Fund (SASBF) which was suspended following default in the repayment of loans by some indigenous shipowners who were beneficiaries.

Saraki who spoke during a media briefing in Lagos after a one-week tour of Lagos seaports and other facilities under her Ministry, said the fund remains intact contrary to speculations that it may have been misappropriated.

She gave insight on the current stage of the disbursement efforts, adding that guidelines for the exercise have been set for presentation to the National Assembly for final approval.

She assured that the Ministry has the political will to disburse the fund.

She told newsmen, “It is really very disheartening that the fund has not been disbursed but we will work with the National Assembly to ensure its disbursement; just watch, it has to be disbursed, especially with the coming on stream of the African Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA. In the course of this visit, I have also interacted with so many stakeholders including the indigenous ship owners. I know the number of vessels that Nigerians had 10 years ago and I know how many they have now.

“It is really a shame that this fund has not been disbursed, I learnt the value is $350million now and I am not sure any part of it is missing. We will work with the National Assembly to pass the guidelines. It is not really about the Federal Ministry of Finance but I think it is more of the political will to disburse it and I think we have the political will to do so”.

 

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