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Buhari okays disbursement of $350m Cabotage fund

…. Approves Zenith, Polaris, others for disbursement

After over 17 years of delay the Federal Government may have approved the commencement of disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) which is believed to be in excess of $350 million.

The Minister of Transportation, Eng Muazu Jaji Sambo dropped this hint Saturday in Lagos during the flag off ceremony of the Batch B of the 3rd phase of the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) in Lagos.

He disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has already given his approval for the commencement of disbursement of the fund to Nigerian operators.

Sambo said “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved my request for the disbursement of the CVFF Fund. Finally, we are breaking the 17-year old jinx.”

He said, in this regard five primary lending institutions have been approved by Mr President to do the disbursement which are Zenith bank, Polaris, United Bank of Africa (UBA) and Jaiz Bank.

“By the time we commence to disburse the fund to the beneficiaries, we have made a case that the fund belongs to the Nigerian shipowners.

“The president who is a respecter of the law therefore approved the disbursement of the fund with immediate effect.

“We shall approach the Minister of Finance and Budget Planning, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria for the immediate disbursement of the fund.

“Sambo assured that even though the CVFF Fund which has hit over $350million is warehoused in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the Federal Government, it would be transferred to the approves primary lending institutions” he said

We have pledged to the president that they would continue to allow the funds to go into the treasury single account, however, whenever the money hits the threshold of $50 million, the central bank of Nigeria upon recommendation from NIMASA and the federal ministry of transportation would inspect the transfer of the funds to the primary lending institutions.

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