The Nigerian Association of Master Mariners has applauded the move by the federal government to establish a maritime bank with the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) even as it has advised the law makers to fix members of the association as board members in the proposed bank.
This is coming few weeks after the Chairman of the House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration; Honourable Umar Bago, revealed that, there are plans to establish a maritime bank with the CVFF fund.
Speaking in an interview with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos on Tuesday, President of the association, Captain Tajudeen Alao advised the federal government to ensure proper accountability of the disbursement of the fund by adding a member of the association as a board member when the bank is established.
He also said that by establishing a maritime bank, it would give room for big players in the industry who have collaterals to have access to the fund, adding that it is better for the money to be used to establish a bank before political decisions would demand for the money.
“The CVFF has been staying idle for too long, so if they can use it to establish a bank it is good because it means common practitioners cannot have access to it, it must be big players who have collateral that can access the fund. But the money is in the bank and it is open to people to apply and take, unlike if the money is staying in NIMASA and political decision makers can say bring the money out”
“So I commend them for the initiative of opening a maritime bank with the money, let them do it that way and lets see how we can manage it”
“We would learn as we go along with that, but professional bodies must be board members of this bank, like the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners and Armies. So that when you give somebody 10million dollars to buy a ship, the person will not go and buy a ship of 1million dollar.
What is the life span of that ship and what is the common value, so we must be member of that bank so that any money that is approved the person will be given proper guidance”
He also applauded the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) two years in office, saying that the last one year have been very productive as he has made a lot of land mark progresses.
Captain Alao also applauded the maritime forecast by the DG saying that it is a good way of accessing performance in the industry even as he said that the KIP is not relevant for safety administration.
“The maritime forecast this year is a good way of measuring ones performance, talking about the KIP value, for safety administration, I don’t know the relevance of that but for the promotional side of the shipping from the Cabotage and that yes, but for the safety, registration, survey and examination of seafarers, I don’t know how relevant that it is”