By AYO OLAYIWOLA
Former President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Prince Olayiwola Shittu has recorded another feat following his committee’s accomplishment in reconciling aggrieved members of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) back to the association.
Prince Shittu led committee was inaugurated in October 2022 with the mandate of reconciling aggrieved members of the association so that elections can hold.
Members of the Resolution Committee included: Edmund Martins; Olayiwola Shittu; Akin Akinyemi, Engr Emmanuel Ilori; Engr Adewale Ishola; and Bar. Paul Omolodun.
At a meeting which held in Apapa last week, Prince Shittu submitted the Committee’s report to the Chairman of NISA Board of Trustees, Chief Isaac Jolapomo.
“We are glad to announce that there is no longer acrimony in the association as all the aggrieved members have been reconciled. I commend them for being able to set aside their differences for the purpose of advancing this association,” Prince Shittu said.
Shittu, however, noted that during the Reconciliation Committee’s activities it observed a lack of dispute resolution mechanism in the association and recommended a strategy for dispute resolution.
Delighted by the accomplishments of the Reconciliation Committee, the NISA General House agreed to retain the Committee for continuous reconciliation activities, even as it added a new mandate of reconciling NISA with other operators outside the association, especially the Ship-Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN).
Meanwhile, the shipowners have raised an alarm 15 percent equity to be provided by ship-owners before the disbursement of Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)
According to the CVFF guidelines for disbursement, interested ship-owners are to provide 15% equity, the Primary Lending Institutions/ banks providing 35% and the CVFF covering 50%.
Speaking at the NISA meeting, Mr. Rowaye Jibril lamented that the 15% equity could pose a stumbling block to accessing the fund, stressing that most Nigerian ship-owners are already in huge debts and have their assets confiscated by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of NISA, Chief Isaac Jolapomo opined that indigenous ship-owners could explore an arrangement utilized by oil and gas operators who receive 100% equity from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the lending institutions.
Jolapomo, however, confirmed that earlier plans by the group to get a court injunction to stop CVFF disbursement has been shelved following a NISA delegation meeting with the NIMASA management.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, had called for the suspension of the court action, even as he admonished all ship-owners to come together to be able to drive home their demands with respect to guidelines for CVFF disbursement.
NIMASA Director General also disclosed that the Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Mu’azu Jaji Sambo was yet to set-up a Committee to oversee the guidelines for CVFF disbursement.
Consequently, at the meeting with the NISA CVFF Advisory Committee led by its Chairman Dr. Edward Sohwo, the Director General of NIMASA suggested that the name of the Committee be changed with ‘CVFF’ removed to prevent any misinterpretation from the Ministry of Transportation or the larger maritime community.
While assuring the Committee that final guidelines for CVFF disbursement would be developed by a team comprising; NIMASA, PLIs and ship-owners, Jamoh encouraged the operators to reconcile their differences in order to have seamless disbursement of the CVFF.