THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Bank Of Industry (BOI) have agreed to work out modalities on financing the acquisition of vessels at a single-digit interest rate for vessel owners.
Disclosing this recently when the BOI management led by its Managing Director, Olukayode Pitan, paid a courtesy visit to NIMASA headquarters in Lagos, the BOI MD stated that its existing financing model with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) could also be of immense benefit to the maritime sector if applied.
According to Olukayode Pitan, “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 8%, with little or zero risks 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.”
The BOI MD commended the NIMASA management led by Dakuku for its various transformative initiatives in the maritime sector. He explained that 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.
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Receiving the BOI team, the Director General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, stated that the credit facility is meant to help in the procurement of maritime assets to put operators in a position to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.
The NIMASA DG added that the meeting with NIMASA was a follow up to the Agency’s efforts to ensure that Nigerian players are competitive in the global maritime arena.
He said: “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.”
At the end of the meeting, 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 Dakuku has consistently advocated a single digit interest rate on borrowings to assist in the acquisition of maritime assets.