Do you support the minister’s decisions to set up a committee on the disbursement of  the CVFF? 

 Mr. John Aluya (VP. MAN)

There have been too many controversies over the CVFF; some people said the money is there, while others are saying that the money is not there. Now that the money is going to be disbursed to indigenous ship owners, I think the proper thing should be done. If the proper thing entails setting up a committee to review the conditions, then that is fine. One of the things that MAN frowns against is doing things illegally, now that the thing is done legally it is fine. The beneficiaries know there right.

Mr. Lucky Amiwero (Stakeholder)

The CVFF is something that should be handled by NIMASA, you don’t need a committee to do that. They should go and look at the law, NIMASA is the agency that has the power to do that it falls under their jurisdiction. By the positions of the Act of NIMASA the minister has no right to set up a committee, you don’t need a ministerial committee to do that, the law has empowered NIMASA to do that.

Engineer Henry Unuigbe (NIMENA) 

I am not aware that a committee has been set up, but since the committee has been, it means that there is something positive to it because this is what we have been clamoring for. It means that they have not taken steps to disburse the fund. I know people are not in support, but I am in support of the disbursement because we have been talking about Cabotage and empowering our people. The money belongs to ship owners they contributed it and I believe that it is the right time. What they should so is to ensure they put in place a proper guideline so that the process will not be abused, it should not be political. People who have all it takes may cash in and quickly register their ships and before you know it, they are disbursing the funds to them. So they need to be careful on the way they go about it, if they are not biased then the process will stay through and Nigerians will enjoy it. Capt. Taiwo Akinpelumi (Shipowner)

The Cabotage Act is clear, the minister has the power to set up committee, to review or to come up with guidelines  for the disbursement, so it is within the Minister’s power, so there is no ambiguity about that, although of course the CVFF have been in existence since 2004, and I think it is appropriate because the Act actually gives room for fund managers, but we need to know how much has accrued into the fund till date, one thing is to say we have $200 million, but is it $200 million dollars? If yes there is need for forensic audit for transparency. Barrister Alex Afolalu (Maritime Lawyer)

Well, under the law the minister has  gone beyond his jurisdiction, I think the Act empowers him to set up committee to look into the fund and determine how the funds will be disbursed, so for me the minister has done no wrong, but let him ensure that that the committee includes ship owners and not just anyhow persons in the industry. Capt Tajudeen Alao (President NAMM)

It is a welcome idea, because it shows seriousness and also encompasses stakeholders, but my own complaint  is that it should have been enlarged ; when you have a committee, you must have a subcommittee, technical committees, and sub technical committees, and then another thing is that association of masters mariners were not included, like mariners and surveyors are not included, even the IOCs and major contributors are not included. So, if they are not included what is the purpose of the committee, somebody will just take money and go and  buy what he likes and the thing will be lying idle there without generating employment, but we have gone round the world so we know the different type of ships and the best type for use in the region.

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