Association wants CVFF invested in maritime development bank

The Nigerian Indigenous Ship-owners Association (NISA) on Thursday said that the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund(CVFF) would be of greater benefit to the industry operators if it were invested in a maritime development bank.

 Mr Emmanuel Ilori, the Publicity Secretary of NISA stated this in an interview in Lagos.

He said difficulty in accessing funding was one of the biggest challenges facing the shipping industry operations in Nigeria, while foreigners easily accessed cheap funding, procure vessels and dominate domestic shipping operations.

Ilori, however, said that empowering the indigenous ship-owners through improved funding would develop areas like shipbuilding and ship repairs, which is capable of creating a lot of jobs for Nigerians.

“Access to funding is one of the biggest issues that is affecting the operations and ship investment in Nigeria.

“There is a CVFF, but we as an executive of NISA have said there is no point in giving the CVFF money to just about six companies.

“What we are saying is that we should have a maritime development bank like we have the development financial institutions in Nigeria, because the foreigners that dominate our economy have access to cheap funding, but then in Nigeria it’s not so.

“We need to be able to empower the indigenous owners by having access to development fund.

“Because of the opportunities in the Nigerian maritime industry we believe that if we have a maritime development bank, investors will put their money in the bank and we can use the CVFF money as an investment in the maritime development bank.

“All these efforts will bring the cost of borrowing, the cost of finance in Nigeria down.”
Ilori said that the association was more concerned about an enabling environment for their operations which remained the focus of the executives.

He said that in line with the focus, a technical workshop in engineering was orgnised to address some of the industry’s operational needs.

The CVFF was created in 2003 to empower indigenous shipping operators to procure vessels to enable them compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.