At last, some form of succour has come to local shipping companies as the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) begins process for the disbursement of the $150 million (N23.5 billion) Cabotage Vessels Financing Fund (CVFF).
In a notice spelling out the criteria for application for the fund issued out to members of the Indigenous Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ISAN) and other investors in the nation’s shipping industry, the agency said all verifiable ship owners, ship agents and fully established companies with ability to charter vessels could apply for not more than $25 million (N3.92 billion). Investors are also required to provide evidence of the type of vessels they intend to acquire with the fund.
The CVFF, meant to assist in empowering indigenous shippers in the areas of ship acquisition, maintenance and other relevant investments, is administered by NIMASA under the Coastal and Inland Shipping (CABOTAGE) Guidelines 2006, which established, as well as set up the procedures for the administration of the fund.
“Ship owners must at least own one classed vessel with P&I coverage and must have fully structured shipping company which is verifiable and registered with NIMASA. The vessel must be wholly Nigeria-owned and must have five years operational work experience,” NIMASA stated.
For shipping companies and agents, the agency recommended “ability to charter vessels, with the charterers being Nigerians and proof of having husbanded at least 10 vessels within the last three years.”