The Federal Government said it has finalised plans to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to enable indigenous shipping operators compete favourably with their international counterparts.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, disclosed this over the weekend when he visited the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) area office in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
“The CVFF is an intervention fund created by the Federal Government for the development of indigenous shipping capacity in Nigeria, to enable them maintain existing vessels or purchase new ones.
“CVFF is a low-hanging fruit which will support maritime activities, the gateway to the nation’s economy. If we get our act right, the maritime industry can replace the revenue from oil.”
While answering questions from newsmen at the BUA Ports and Terminal Limited situated at the Rivers Port, the minister expressed delight at the progress of work. “We are making good progress, bringing this place [up] to world standard,” but urged the operators to ensure completion by 2025.
Furthermore, the minister assured that as part of the railway modernisation policy, rail lines would be linked to the seaports for effective and efficient haulage of cargoes.
The minister was accompanied on the trip by the director, finance and accounts, FMT, Umaru Hassan who represented the permanent secretary, Dr. Magdalene Ajani; Director, MSD, Babatunde Sule; Director, legal services, Pius Oteh; Director, rail, Jimoh Yusufu and the director, press, Eric Ojiekwe.
Also present were the managing director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko; Managing director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria; Registrar, Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, Sam Nwakohu, among others.