FG Approves Disbursement of N324.1bn to Nigerians
Federal Government: The release of the $700 million Cabotage vessel fund has received clearance from the House of Representatives. This fund’s objectives are to increase marine industry job possibilities and aid local shipowners in purchasing new vessels.
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Under the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act of 2003, local operators were given financial support with the intention of fostering the expansion and development of Nigeria’s domestic shipping industry. This latest House of Representatives approval represents an important step in reaching these goals.
The House Committee on Local Content has been tasked with examining all contracts connected to the Cabotage regime in an effort to ensure transparency and accountability. The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was asked by the House last month to postpone the intended distribution while the auditing procedure is ongoing.
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After conducting inquiries and seeking advice from NIMASA and the Ministry of Transportation, the Chairman of the Committee, Legor Idagbo, certified that the intended disbursement was made in accordance with the law. Since some contracts had been given to foreign shipping companies in violation of the Cabotage and Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, he highlighted the need to strengthen the capabilities of local operators.
The Committee designated Legor Idagbo as the Chairman, Henry Nwawuba as a member, and Kehinde Bolade Olaiya as the Committee Clerk to manage the disbursement procedure in order to ensure conformity with current legislation. By taking this action, the National Assembly’s laws will not be broken in any way.
The distribution of the Cabotage Vessels Finance Fund (CVFF), which has been in the works for 17 years, is eagerly awaited by indigenous shipowners in Nigeria. Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) will help with the initial disbursement, which is anticipated to start in March 2023. Over N16 billion and $350 million are the total amount of money that are available for release.
It is anticipated that the Cabotage Vessel Fund’s payout will significantly expand the marine sector, lead to the creation of new jobs, and encourage the involvement of local shipowners in Nigeria’s domestic shipping industry.