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NIMASA to immortalise late Otunba Kunle Folarin…holds CVFF stakeholders meeting next week

…As SOAN President suggests yearly lecture in honour of late Otunba Folarin

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) would immortalise the widely acclaimed doyen of Nigerian maritime industry, the late Otunba Kunle Folarin, by christening a vessel after him.

Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this on Thursday at the Rockview Hotel in Apapa, while speaking during a symposium held in honour of the late Otunba Folarin, who passed away recently.

Jamoh said the late Folarin deserved such honour considering his immense intellectual contributions to the development and sustainability of the maritime industry in Nigeria.

In similar vein, the president of the Ship Owners Association, Dr. Mkgeorge Oyung, while giving his goodwill message, suggested that the industry should establish an annual lecture in honour of late Otunba Kunle Folarin, as a way of keeping his memory alive in the industry.

Responding to questions on the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) on which the paper of the event was delivered, the NIMASA DG told the gathering that a CVFF stakeholder meeting would hold by next week, with chief executives of the Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) in attendance.

He added that the process would ensure all stakeholder are carried along, and that a public hearing on the review of the Cabotage Act , which has passed through the House of Representatives and going to the Senate, would be held.

In his own contribution, maritime expert, Chief Chris Asoloka, frowned on the waiver clause in the Caboatage Act, without a specific timeline.

He described it as a fault that has kept short-changing Nigeria and Nigerians who operate in the sector.

He said: “We should have inserted a caveat or timeline to give waivers to foreign vessels for five years while growing indigenous capacity for the service. However, twenty years after the Cabotage Act was passed, the Transport Minister still has the powers to give waivers to foreign operators.”

Speaking, Chairman of the occasion and Chief Executive of Integrated Oil and Gas Company Nigeria Ltd., Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, raised concerns that the CVFF would continue to be limiting, because it is entirely about coastal trade.

His argument was that the CVFF is about coastal trade and vessel in the operations would not be able to give seatime training to cadets from the nation’s maritime training academy.

He, therefore, suggested that the CVFF be transmuted into a ‘Ship Acquisition and Ship Building Fund’ for a global scope that can be completely beneficial even in the light of seatime training opportunities for Nigerian cadets.

A paper by Mrs. Jean Chiazor-Anishere SAN, titled ‘Ensuring Effective Disbursements of Barbotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)’ gave among other recommendations, that there must be clear guidelines on how the fund would be disbursed, with guidelines for application and a system for monitoring and evaluating

This should include guidelines on how to apply for funding, as well as criteria for evaluating and approving applications. It is also important to have a system in place for monitoring and reporting on the use of the funds.

Industry stakeholders including Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT), Nigerian Indigenous Ship-owners Association (NISA), Chief Isaac Jolapomo; Chairman, Sea Transport Limited, Alh. Aminu Umar; former Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mrs. Ify Akenrele; Chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi, Mrs. Tosan Edodo-Emoren,  were in attendance.



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