Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund not in CBN —Jolapamo
THE pioneer President of the Nigerian Ship-owners Association (NISA) and foremost indigenous ship owner, Chief Isaac Jolapamo has raised doubts over the presence of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This is even as the indigenous ship owner called for the immediate audit of the CVFF by the Federal Government.
Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune exclusively, Chief Jolapamo stated that figures of over $100 million being peddled in newspapers might not be accurate due to years of abuse of the fund by previous government.
According to Jolapamo, “I have read news saying the CVFF is with the CBN. To me, that is entirely another issue because the money, we learnt was with various commercial banks in the past. How and when it was transmitted to the CBN is an issue that calls for answers.
“The money in question is the contribution of we the ship-owners. It is a particular percentage deducted from our works. Why should we not know that it has been moved to the CBN? When was that done? How transparent was the movement of the money from the commercial banks to the CBN?
“There are so many things shrouded in secrecy concerning the CVFF that we the owners of the fund are not aware of. Past administrations abused the funds and used it for other means. There is need for the present government to come clean on the fund.
“The present administration has insisted on transparency when it comes to financial issues, why have they not come clean on the CVFF? The money has been abused by previous administrations, but when this new administration took over in 2015, we thought the fund will eventually be made public and disbursed to ship-owners to enhance capacity; but that is yet to be done. Instead, we keep hearing it is with the CBN, how and when did it get there? Government should tell us. It is our money.”
When reminded that the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside has stated at different forums that the fund is now in excess of $100 million, Jolapamo explained that it was not true the money was $100 million.
In his words, “The NIMASA DG said it is in excess of $100 million, but don’t forget that it was near or around that figure before the present administration came on board, and that fund had been abused and used for other purposes by previous administrations, how are we sure it’s now in excess of $100miion?
“Government should come out public on the CVFF and let us know the exact amount and when to disburse.”
It would be recalled that the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside had recently disclosed that the Cabotage Vessels Finance Fund (CVFF) was held at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy of the Federal Government.
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