The Nigeria Ship Owners Association (NISA) has called for the establishment of a Maritime Bank to help develop the shipping business in the country.
The President of the association, Capt. Niyi Labinjo, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.
He said that the call became necessary because commercial banks did not have an understanding of maritime issues.
He said that the Federal Government could set up the specialised bank and use the Cargo Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) as seed money.
“Let us establish a maritime bank. We cannot work with commercial banks.
“Shipping is never done like that. If you want to do Cabotage, you must use maritime bank for Cabotage.
“The reason is, the moment you hike the cost of accessing funds, it will become difficult.
“You have Bank of Industry for manufacturers; Bank of Agriculture for farmers. You even have Bank of Infrastructure.
“You have mortgage bank for housing. What does it cost to have maritime bank.
“Use the CVFF (Cargo Vessel Financing Fund) collection; use it as the seed money.
“In that wise, we shall be dealing with a bank that will be using maritime template.
“The commercial banks will never understand why a ship cannot disappear from the surface of the water.
“So we need a maritime bank that has an understanding of maritime issues.“
The mariner said it was unfortunate that shippers were not benefiting from the cargo vessel financing fund as well as the maintenance fund.
He, therefore, urged the government to create an atmosphere that would enable indigenous ship owners to benefit from the funds.