The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has directed the five Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) chosen for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessels Finance Fund (CVFF) to release modalities for the disbursement of the fund after top-level meetings held between the executive management of the agency and the banks’ officials.
The PLIs which are also deposit money banks comprise of Zenith Bank, Polaris, United Bank of Africa (UBA), Jaiz Bank and Union Bank.
The NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who presided over the meeting said it was necessary to engage the banks in order for the agency to learn from the banks’ lending and financial experiences and for the banks to understand the framework of the CVFF for safety against re-occurrence of the former ship acquisition and ship building fund (SASBF) pitfalls.
He told journalists after the meeting at NIMASA headquarters in Apapa Lagos that the modalities would include the unanimous interest rate agreed by all the PLIs, the tenure, collateral and other requirements needed to access the fund.
According to Jamoh, “We have started with the PLIs and all five of them are here today. What we want them to do now is to come up with collective decision and that cannot take more than 72 hours. As we are leaving this boardroom, they will sit down and decide on the interest rate to be used because we don’t want them to come individually to us with different interest rates, we want them to have a consensus and a standard template on the disbursement of funds as well as the interest rate.
“This is what we advised them to do and as soon as they finish that, we will then invite the shipowners. The guidelines will tell us the interest rate and how it is supposed to be as regards the tenure, collateral; because we won’t allow them to come and make the shipowners feel very insecure. The final outcome of the large meeting shall form the fulcrum of the final decisions of the federal government on the disbursement.”
The PLIs, in welcoming the development, commended NIMASA and the federal government for the policy to disburse the funds and assured their readiness for compliance with the plan although they requested for more time to process the project and revert to the NIMASA management.
The magazine gathered that the CVFF counterpart funding ratio would see NIMASA contribute 50%, the banks 35% and the ship owners, 15%.