•As BOI promises more support to sector
By Oko Ebuka
DIRECTOR-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has affirmed that the implementation of a single digit interest facility in aid of operators in the maritime industry is imminent.
The credit facility, according to him, is meant to help in the procurement of maritime assets to put operators in a position to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.
In a press release signed by the Head, Corporate Communications, NIMASA, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi, on the heels of a courtesy visit by Bank of Industry, BoI, delegation led by the Managing Director, Olukayode Pitan, to the Agency’s corporate headquarters in Lagos, Peterside said that the meeting was a follow up to the Agency’s efforts to ensure that Nigerian players were competitive in the global maritime arena.
He stated: “We have continuously sought partnerships that would grow our industry. We know that maritime asset financing is one of the major challenges of this industry and we are tackling it head-on. In no distant future our people would be able to reap the benefits of our strategy.”
Speaking during the visit, Pitan commended the NIMASA management led by Peterside for its various transformative initiatives in the maritime sector.
He said the initiatives had brought renewed confidence in the maritime industry and BoI was ready to partner with NIMASA because the viability of the sector would rub off on the entire economy.
He disclosed that it had an existing financing model in partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, which could also benefit the maritime sector if applied.
Pitan stated: “We are proposing a partnership with NIMASA on vessel financing. We already have a similar partnership with NCDMB that is currently running at a single digit of eight per cent, with little or zero risk for NCDMB since the fund invested by NCDMB is guaranteed by BoI. This model, we think, can also benefit NIMASA and the entire maritime sector.”
NIMASA and BoI agreed, among other things, to work out modalities on financing the acquisition of vessels at a single digit interest rate; provision of guarantee for the funds that NIMASA will entrust to BoI; and management of the portfolio to guarantee effectiveness.
It would be recalled that the management of NIMASA under Peterside, has consistently advocated a single digit interest rate on borrowings to assist in the acquisition of maritime assets.