|Engr. Emmanuel Ilori
has urged the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, to commit the
Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to establishing a maritime development
bank, rather than disburse the funds to individuals.
Recall that the minister recently
told a gathering of maritime stakeholders in Lagos that the CVFF would be
disbursed come January 2020.
in 2003, is a pool from collections made by vessels involved in coastal trade,
and now estimated to be about $200 million.
experience working on global platforms and significantly with the Lloyd’s
Register, stated that the fund would not give the expected value if disbursed,
because it would barely purchase reasonable number of vessels and argued about
who would be considered or not.
you. My position on CVFF is, it is good. It is a good source of funding. But, how
many vessels will $200 million buy? Who is going to benefit from that purchase?
How are we going to use that $200 million to develop the maritime industry? It
is capital intensive. So, if you give it to A, B is going to complain. What are
we going to use the CVFF to buy?
funding. Once you deplete the $200 million, what happens next? That is why some
of us are now saying that why don’t we pull back and think out of the box how
to invest the $200 million so that it can stretch farther?
you set up a maritime development bank, use the fund as a seed money to develop
the industry, so that people who have sound bankable maritime business can
access the fund,” he said.
development bank would enable the industry address a number of industry
interest, including upgrading of shipyards, where specific crafts could be
built, thus creating more jobs locally.
developing ship purchase, the need for us to invest in ship repair, then, other
areas of need that we can holistically develop the industry instead of dishing
out the money to a few lucky people.
out for, because we are not the only nation that has developed its maritime
industry using the maritime development bank route. So, it is something we need
to look at again and say how we use that fund constructively to develop the
among a few people is the best way. I think the Minister raised this in the
past that he is not inclined to share the money among people. Let us talk of
the Ship Acquisition Fund of the past given to people. How were they able to
recover it? It went down the road.
we are advocating is that what are the genuine maritime needs of Nigeria? I could then use that money to develop to
meet the maritime needs of our nation.”
a maritime development bank would drive investment interests, making it less
difficult to have ship-building companies come to set up businesses in Nigeria.
actually need within Nigerian waters? If we can then determine the vessel needs
of Nigeria, you can then use that fund though a development arrangement , to
say ok, we will invest this money in developing so number of vessels to be
built in Nigeria, invite the ship
building company to come and set up in Nigeria.
vessels that we need for trade in our waters. Over time, development bank will
be providing excess to be guarantee. So, we can see the industry booming. But
at the moment, it is going to be a close shop, which is not going to benefit
on loans for such capital-intensive business as shipping stood at a
double-digit of over 20 per cent, which makes access to funds a big issue.
needs. Nigeria has vast maritime needs, but of course, access to funding is an
issue. At the moment, funding at over 20 per cent is not just viable. That is
why we are saying we need to revisit the issue of access to funding issue.
that if you use the CVFF as the seed money for the maritime development bank
where people can access fund at a very low rate, it will not only attract local
investors , it will attract foreigners investors to actually come and invest in
Nigeria is a country of opportunity. At over 200 million people, we have huge
opportunities. Then, we will continue to have huge maritime needs, not only on
the short sea trade, but even within the inland waterways system.”
business opportunities opening up if and when they have better access to
funding from a place like a maritime development bank.