In line with the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act 2003, FinBank Plc has financed the purchase of a new vessel for Jevkon Oil & Gas Limited, a leading indigenous maritime transport company in Nigeria.
At the commissioning of the vessel at the Apapa Port terminal, Lagos yesterday, the Group Managing Director of FinBank, Mrs. Suzanne Iroche, said the bankâ€™s involvement in the financing of the vessel was a demonstration of its commitment to the success of the Cabotage Act 2003 as well as the growth of the Nigerian economy.
Essentially, the Act, as enacted, seeks to develop and increase indigenous tonnage by stipulating that subject to the licensing requirements and waivers embedded in it, all vessels engaged in Cabotage in Nigeria must be registered in Nigeria, owned by Nigerians, carry Nigerian flag and manned by Nigerians.
According to her, the implementation of the Cabotage Law will have a positive ripple effect on the economy as it is capable of generating millions of job opportunities for Nigerians.
This belief, she said, informed the bankâ€™s involve-ment in the finance of various maritime transactions and its resolve to continue to develop capabilities to appropriately manage relationships in the sector.
â€œFinBankâ€™s involvement is a testimony of its strength as a financial institution. We shall continue to finance projects that will add value to the Nigerian economy,â€ she added.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Managing Director of Jevkon Oil & Gas Ltd, Dr. MkGeorge Onyung, lauded the bank for the confidence it reposed in his company by financing the purchase of the vessel.
Onyung assured that his company was committed to maritime business and would ensure that the vessel is managed profitably to encourage the entrant of other indigenous operators in the industry.
â€œWe will limit our business to shipping which controls about 80 per cent of global business, which is largely untapped in Nigeria.
â€œOur target is to acquire a production ship. There are only 12 of them in Nigeria and none is owned by a Nigerian,â€ he said.
He noted that FinBank was the catalyst which enabled the realization of the companyâ€™s dream of owning a vessel.
â€œFinBank Plc has been our invaluable partner in business. Their belief in our expertise and proven experience in the industry have led to a relationship of trust and understanding that gives us the leverage to always excel.
â€œOur strength and confidence stems from the huge support we enjoy from FinBank Plc which drives us to effectively carry out our operations and achieve optimal successâ€, Dr. Onyung said.
The MT Breakthrough, a 2006 built 7500 dead weight, double hull, double bottom vessel is the newest-built product tanker within the Nigerian waters and the most modern vessel under the Nigerian Flag Registry.
To underscore the signifi-cance of the MT Break-through commissioning, prominent Nigerians, including the Minister of Transport, Alhaji Ibrahim Isa Bio, NIMASA’s Director-General, Temisan Omatseye, as well as members of the clergy witnessed the ceremony which took place at the Eko Support Terminal of the Apapa Port, Lagos.