Reps halt disbursement of $700m cabotage vessel’s fund

House of representatives
Lawmakers in The House of Representatives

The House of Representatives has ordered the suspension of planned disbursement of 700 million dollars cabotage vessel financing fund to Nigerians and companies by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

This followed the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by Rep. Henry Nwawuba (PDP-Imo) during plenary in Abuja.

in his motion, he noted the Cabotage vessel finance fund was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act, 2003 to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity.

This he said is by providing financial assistance to Nigerian operators in the domestic coastal shipping.

He said he was concerned that since the establishment of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund, there have been no reliable data as to the total amount that has so far accrued to the Fund.

He said, there was no certainty as to the actual worth of the fund at the moment, adding that  since the establishment of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund in 2003, there was no record of any Nigerian citizen or company who had benefited from the fund.

The House however directed the 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 House urged the agency to present an audited statement of account showing all monies that have accrued to the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund 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.

Lawmakers asked the Minister of State for Transport and NIMASA Director-General to report to the House Committee on local content on the state of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund and how the funds have been applied over the past 20 years.(NAN) 

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