By Godwin Oritse
THE immediate past Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety (NIMASA) Barrister Temisan Omatseye has taken responsibility for the failure of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF).
Speaking at the recently concluded House of Representative Ad-hoc Committee on the investigation of the CVFF, Omatseye said that he was a party to the drawing up of the guidelines which according to him “is totally flawed”.
He stated that it was during his tenure that the process of identifying and engaging Primary Lending Institutions (PILs) was done adding that the mistakes of the past is now hunting the Fund.
“As CEO, I do take responsibility for the document and cannot make excuses for it though as I write this paper and with the benefit of hindsight I do find the document to be totally flawed.
“As the CEO of an agency like NIMASA faced with over 29 functions and duties, it is easy for one not to pay as much attention to certain areas as it is not humanly possible to do everything and therefore, it was necessary to delegate most especially with the issues as it relates to the selection of the PLIs being that the organo-gram or structure of the Agency allows for there to be an Executive Director whose functions is to deal with all that relates to Cabotage and an Executive Director Finance who should in all ways assist the Executive Director Cabotage on issues relating to Financial transaction .
“We failed to see some of the flaws which are now haunting the disbursement process and may further lead to situation that if disbursement not does occur then the likely hood of making any achievable progress as the Cabotage Act had envisaged will be wishful thinking.
“Once the guidelines have been met in the selection of the Participating Lending InstitutionsPLIs and PLIs given their agreement then, it was meant for PLIs to begin the process of engagement of the indigenous ship owners for which the loan is to be given to.
“In as much as the banks are able to deal with issues relating `to the financial wherewithal of the companies that are seeking to get the facility, NIMASA in all intent and purpose was meant to set the technical criteria.