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Private Boat Operators demand CVFF to boost their operations

The Lagos Commercial
Private Boat Operators District, an arm of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria
(MWUN) on Wednesday requested to be supported with a portion of the Cabotage
Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to enable them address some of their operational

Onepageafrica reports that
the CVFF, which was established in 2003, and operational in 2004, is collected from
the two per cent deductions from all contracts granted under the Cabotage
This fund, which the
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is mandated to disburse
appropriately, is designed to help indigenous shipowners boost their
The boat operators’
request was made known by Mr. Abdul Erodje, a member of the association, who
also represented the President General of the MWUN, Mr. Adewale Adeyanju on the
occasion of the Customer Service Week celebration hosted by NIMASA in Apapa
Erodje noted  that the funds would enable the association’s members
 solve some of their operational
challenges including high cost of boats and outboard motor engines, standard
life jackets, boat anchors and others.
He said: “We are asking
NIMASA to make available a small percentage of the CVFF to be deployed to this area,
to enhance the development of waterways transportation in Lagos State and nation-wide.”
Likening their demand to
that of the indigenous shipowners, Erodje 
said “With proper management, this fund so deployed by NIMASA will
enable the local boat operators to acquire standard boats to provide
internationally accepted inland waterways transportation services to the citizens
of Nigeria, just like the indigenous shipowners are going to use the CVFF for standard
vessels to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts in that sector,
because boats and vessels are all conventional means of transportation.”
He expressed his conviction
that the funding of the local boat operators by NIMASA to acquire standard
boats would also form part of the local content development drive of the agency.
While the association
wants NIMASA to establish search and rescue volunteer groups and taking up
their training, it also requested that NIMASA collaborate with relevant
stakeholders in the industry to perfect registration of members and training/
certifying them on Power-Driven Small Crafts, ferries, pleasure boats to
establish a pool of well-trained workforce that employers can pick from.
The association, Erodje
said, was confident that the above-mentioned initiative would save the industry
the burden of employing untrained boat workers who could pose dangers to other
boat operators and passengers alike.

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