The Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund has risen from $195m to $350m in 2022, representing 79.4 percent increase.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, disclosed that the money in the CVFF account now stood at $350mn – equivalent to N210bn.
Recall that the Federal Government, in 2003, set up the CVFF to address the lack of capacity among indigenous ship owners in Nigeria. The CVFF was inserted into the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act of 2003 otherwise referred to as Cabotage Act 2003, in order to provide funds for vessel acquisition amongst indigenous operators.
The source of the fund is a two percent contribution by indigenous shipowners from every contract executed in the nation’s waters.
The disbursement of the CVFF is backed by the provisions of Section 42(1)-(2) of the Cabotage Act 2003, which aims to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity by providing financial assistance to Nigerian operators in domestic coastal shipping.
Saraki, however, expressed regrets over the non-disbursement of the CVFF, describing it as a national shame.
According to her, it is rather a shame that no indigenous ship owner has been able to access the fund that was designed to enable them acquire vessels nearly 20 years after it was established.