Maritime editors seek Tinubu’s intervention for CVFF disbursement
The League of Maritime Editors (LOME) has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene and ensure that the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) is disbursed to deserving indigenous.
The Silver Jubilee Anniversary conference was themed: ‘Harnessing Nigeria’s Potential in Marine & Blue Economy/The New Customs 2023 Act And its implication on Trade.’
President of the League of Maritime Editors (LOME), Chief Timothy Okorocha, made the call on Thursday while giving his welcome address on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of LOME, which held in Ikeja, Lagos.
For the records, the CVFF was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003, with the aim of developing indigenous ship acquisition capacity. The fund is to provide financial assistance to Nigerian operators in the domestic coastal shipping business.
The CVFF which is under the care of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is mainly sourced from a surcharge of 2% of contract sum performed by any vessel engaged in coastal trade, tariffs, fines and license fees and any other amount determined and approved by the National Assembly.
Okorocha observed that NIMASA’s efforts at ensuring the disbursement of the CVFF would get the desired result with a positive push from Mr President.
“The League further urges President Tinubu to provide the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Hon. Adegboyega Oyetola and his ministry, the needed impetus to bring to an end, the unending rat race of the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF, established since 2003; to jump start a new lease of life for the capacity development of our indigenous ship-owners, and to enable Nigeria participate meaningfully in our seaborne trade; especially with the proposed commencement of the implementation policy of the blue economy.
“As insiders, the League over the years has seen the genuine struggle by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and its leadership, especially under the present administration to disburse the CVFF in its commitment to grow local capacity building, but observe the otherwise disruptive tendencies within the field of political play.
“We appeal to Mr. President to use his good office to prevail on the relevant authorities to respond to the needs of our industry as there can be no better time than now,” the LOME President said.
The maritime editors’ body also sought more focussed approach by the president through the Hon. Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, in engaging with the industry stakeholders to ensure significant growth in the industry.
“The League wants to urge you sir, to be more sector specific in your programmes and to crave depth as you pursue the implementation of the blue economy by engaging and partnering with stakeholders as at when necessary, to avoid creating gaps,” Okorocha said.
In his remark, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy,Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, represented by the Director of Press at the Minister, Mr Olujimi Oyetomi, appreciated the maritime editors for their agenda-setting role aimed at the growth and development of the sector.
The minister pledged his commitment to realistic suggestions and other workings for the industry benefit, as head of the leading policy making body for the sector.
He said: “I must admit that my Ministry has been enjoying a symbiotic relationship with the Maritime Editors with agenda-setting for the maritime sector of which my Ministry is the leading Policy making body. I wish to add that most of the suggestions of the Maritime Editors were received in good faith by the Management of the Ministry of which I am a principal figure.
“Even though I am a pioneer minister specifically for the Sector, I have set up machinery and structures for the Sector and made all principal actors and agencies irrevocably key into realizing the potential of the sector for job creation, social development, increased contributions to national growth and economic development.
“Your suggestions and recommendations, whenever you evaluate the industry, at the policy-making level, sometimes we receive your suggestions from critical perspectives. However, we do not fail to distil and apply the best of your suggestions, thus leading to plausible progress in policy application in the maritime sector. It is therefore no surprise today that we are collectively witnessing the progress which we are seeing today, in the sector.”
Oyetola urged the League to be patriotic and realistic in its agenda-setting duty, to ensure it covers not only policy-making level, but also for the agencies.
“I submit that the partnership between the League of Maritime Editors and my Ministry is such that we will cherish and wish to nurture it to an all-time high as much as time, resources and other policy determinants will allow us,” the Minister said.