Mr Aminu Umar, the President of Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), has identified poor access to funding as a major challenge facing ship owners in the country.
Umar made this observation during an interview with the newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to him, the major challenge of ship owners in Nigeria is having access to long-term loans.
Umar appealed to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to make information available to them through their flag administration..
“All our vessels are registered under NIMASA’s Flag and our ship owners had never received any report from the flag administrator of NIMASA. So, if I decide not to give information on a vessel they will never get it.
“If I decide to disappear with a vessel, the bankers have no where to find it because they rely on the information given to them by the flag administration.
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“We are appealing to the management of NIMASA to look into the challenges the ship owners face to access information from the flag administration which had been hindering their accessing long-term funds through the banks ” Umar said.
He urged fund managers in Nigeria to also consider a situation whereby professionals engaged in shipping trade would contribute and buy a vessel, adding that such was possible in abroad.
Umar said that instead of spending many years accessing banking loans to purchase a vessel, people could come together, contribute money to buy a very big vessel and share the profit annually.
Umar said that the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), which had been kept by NIMASA, should be accessed by ship owners already paying their two per cent levy recommended by NIMASA.
He also advised NIMASA to create more awareness for bankers to understand the operations of maritime business so that they could consider long-term loans for ship owners.