By DAPO OLAWUNI
Even as the Minister of Transportation Eng Muazu Jaji Sambo last weekend announced President Muhammadu Buhari’s accent for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) Nigerian seafarers have called on the minister to make provision for purchasing a training vessel from the fund.
At a press conference held in Lagos to announce the disbursement, Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr Bashir Jamoh had stated that $350million and N16billion is available to be disbursed in the CVFF.
In a chat with DAILY TREND on Monday, President of Maritime Professionals Forum (MARPRO) a seafarers advocacy group said that Nigerian seafarers must feel the impact of the CVFF disbursement.
He said “Disbursing the CVFF is not the problem, as far as all parties involved agrees on the criteria of disbursement.
As Seafarers, where it concerns us the most is how it would benefits the Seafarers as regards capacity building.
“The Ministry needs to include purchasing of a Training Ship from the CVFF disbursement. If we have a Training Ship like the American NSMV Training Ship with 600 cadets capacity, we can end the “No Sea Time” menace and train enough Seafarers for our Cabotage and International ships.
“We do not want a situation whereby they would start bringing ships and be claiming we do not have enough Manpower” Capt Akanbi stated
The MARPRO President also stated that the Transportation Ministry has a responsibility to initiate a guideline for the CVFF disbursement, subject to National Assembly’s approval.
“The aim of the CVFF is to promote indigenous Ship acquisition and Capacity for operators engaged in Coastal Trade.
“The said funds has accrued so much interest over the years, which is enough to Fund a Training Vessel that will build capacity for the safe running of the vessel in prospect” he concluded