Reps stop disbursement of $700 million Cabotage fund to ship owners

The House of Representatives has ordered the immediate suspension of the planned disbursement of $700 million Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to Nigeria ship owners by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Recall that the Federal Government through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has promised to disburse the Cabotage Vessels Financing Funds(CVFF) before the end of President Buhari’s administration.

According to the agency, this becomes necessary as the nation must quickly transition away from crude to blue economy and must do this through monetary incentives to encourage indigenous ship owners.

The agency also said this remains part of good governance around ultilisation of water so that the blue economy can strive through key infrastructural development within the sector.

However, the House also directed the agency to present an audited statement of account showing all monies that have accrued to the CVFF within seven days.

Adopting a motion of urgent public importance brought before the House by Henry Nwawuba, the lawmakers also directed its Committee on Local Content to engage an external auditor to audit all contracts entered into in the cabotage regime and report same to the House within seven days.

The committee is also to commence immediate investigations into the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund to determine all monies that have accrued to the Fund since its establishment in 2003 and report to the House within 14 days.

The lawmakers also asked the Minister of State for Transportation and NIMASA Director-General to report to the House Committee on Local Content on the state of the fund and how the funds have been applied over the past 20 years.

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