The Federal Government is set to disburse the Cabottage Vessel Financing Fund soon to enable indigenous shipping operators to compete favourably with their international counterparts.
Sambo said this in a statement issued by the ministry’s Director of Media and Public Relations, Mr Eric Ojiekwe.
Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo disclosed this on Friday when he visited the National Inland Waterways Authority, Area Office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The CVFF is an intervention fund created by the Federal Government for the development of indigenous shipping capacity in Nigeria to enable them maintain existing vessels or purchase new ones.
Describing the CVFF as a low hanging fruit, the Minister said it would support maritime activities which is the gateway to the nation’s economy, adding that “if we get our acts right, the maritime industry can replace the revenue from the oil”.
While answering questions from newsmen at the BUA Ports and Terminal Limited, situated at the Rivers Port, the Minister expressed delight at the progress of work, saying: “we are making good progress, bringing this place to a world standard,” but urged the operators to ensure completion by 2025.
Furthermore, the Minister assured that as part of the railway modernization policy, rail lines would be linked to the seaports for effective and efficient haulage of cargoes.
The Minister was accompanied on the trip by the Director, Finance and Accounts, FMT, Umaru Hassan who represented the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, Directors, MSD, Legal Services, Rail, Press, Babatunde Sule, Pius Oteh, Jimoh Yusfu, Eric Ojiekwe, respectively.
Others were: Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria and the Registrar, Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding, in Nigeria, Sam Nwakohu among others.