Mar­itime stake­hold­ers de­mand 10% lend­ing rate for op­er­a­tors

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Eu­gene Agha, La­gos

Stake­hold­ers in the mar­itime sec­tor are urg­ing the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria (CBN) to com­pel all com­mer­cial banks to pro­vide, at least, a 10 per cent regime for those op­er­at­ing within the sec­tor if it hopes to re­po­si­tion the in­dus­try.

The stake­hold­ers also pro­vided a roadmap for the Muham­madu Buhari ad­min­is­tra­tion which they be­lieve would guar­an­tee ef­fi­cient de­vel­op­ment of the sec­tor within the next five years.

Mar­itime stake­hold­ers and par­tic­i­pants made this dis­clo­sure at the Mar­itime Plat­form Na­tional Dis­course held re­cently in La­gos. The theme of the dis­course was, “Nige­rian mar­itime sec­tor in the next five years: De­cid­ing where we want to be”.

The par­tic­i­pants said the CBN, in line with its mon­e­tary pol­icy, should in the next four months com­pel com­mer­cial banks to pro­vide the 10 per cent regime for the mar­itime sec­tor, as it is do­ing presently with the agri­cul­ture and in­dus­try sec­tors.

They stated that with such a move, the mar­itime sec­tor will have a guar­an­teed fund­ing cor­ri­dor to fi­nance ship­ping de­vel­op­ment.

In a ten-point com­mu­niqué, mar­itime op­er­a­tors be­lieve it is high time the fed­eral gov­ern­ment showed real com­mit­ment to turn mar­itime po­ten­tials into re­al­i­ties by sup­port­ing ship­ping de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try.

The com­mu­niqué called on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to, within the next three years, es­tab­lish the much-needed mar­itime bank to fund mar­itime projects and meet the fi­nan­cial re­quire­ments of the sec­tor.

It also told gov­ern­ment not to al­low for­eign ves­sels carry Nige­rian crude oil “be­cause Nige­ria has pri­mor­dial ad­van­tage in do­mes­tic trade and in­dige­nous shipown­ers must be en­cour­aged to grow their fleets through ad­e­quate fund­ing and the dis­burse­ment of the CVFF (Cab­o­tage Ves­sel Fi­nanc­ing Fund) to en­able them ac­quire spe­cialised crude-car­rier ves­sels.”

L-R: French Am­bas­sador to Nige­ria, De­nis Guaer; Chair­man, UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu; and Pres­i­dent of Move­ment for the En­ter­prises of France( MEDEF), Mr. Pierre Gat­taz; at the lun­cheon or­gan­ised by UBA for the 50-man French busi­ness del­e­ga­tion from MEDEF in La­gos Tues­day.

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