Hope rises for Nigerian shipping companies on cabotage fund, crude lifting
The promise by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund and an earlier move by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to change terms to enable Nigerian shipping companies to lift Nigeria crude will ultimately boost indigenous capacity
It is on record that no fewer than 90% of shipping companies owned by Nigerians have either completely shut down their operations or are barely struggling to survive. Of all the existing companies, only two can be said to be operating viable businesses while others, representing 83% of the companies are either completely dead or are in comatose condition. Findings also revealed that all the companies are heavily indebted to banks and are mostly unable to service the loans they took to buy ships.
However, all is not lost if the promise by the federal government disburses the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) in line with set down regulations, next year is anything to go by. The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, following relentless agitation by the Nigerian ship owners, promised recently that the agency would commence the disbursement of the CVFF in 2019.
That is not all, recently, the National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced the desired change in its trade terms from Free On Board (FOB) to Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) which would enable local shipping companies to begin to lift Nigeria crude and ultimately boost indigenous capacity.