The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), on Tuesday, said it rejected the 8.5% interest rate proposed by the Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs), for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessels Finance Fund (CVFF).
Speaking to newsmen at the opening ceremony of the visit by Staff of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) in charge of the implementation of Ghana’s Cabotage operations to the agency, Bashir Jamoh, the director general of NIMASA, said the agency would not allow the PLIs to impose unnecessary guidelines or interest rate on shipowners.
“We are still discussing with the PLIs and unless we are sure we are getting the best deal that can help the stakeholders, we will never accept any PLI imposing unnecessary guidelines or interest rates. If we clear those grey areas, then we will disburse the fund before the end of the regime. We must get the best bargain for the stakeholders, we can’t accept any interest rate that will remain a burden on the stakeholders,” Jamoh said.
He disclosed that the agency is currently seeking alternatives to the PLIs and discussing with development banks to see if we can get lesser interest rates.
The NIMASA boss, however, assured that the amended Cabotage Act would be assented to before the end of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recall that the federal government through NIMASA would provide 50 percent of the CVFF, PLIs would provide 35 percent and 15 percent will come from Shipowners.
The approved PLIs for the disbursement of the CVFF are Union Bank, Polaris, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Zenith and Jaiz Bank.