Chief Executive Officer of Millennium Shipping, Engineer Alex Eggeti, an expert in Marine Sector, has decried the lack of dedication by the federal government to provide adequate funds to boost indigenous shipping sector in the country.
Egenti, who stated this yesterday in Abuja, also lamented that Ship owners have become stranded due to lack of funds, a situation that has led to most ships in Nigerian waters belonging to foreigners.
He noted that ship owners only had access to commercial bank loans which were of high interest rate and unfavorable to the business in the country.
He said the development had limited the shipping sector from competing with its counterparts in the globe thereby making it difficult for them to cope in the business.
Egenti said if the government would make available funds to boost the sector, it would employ as many people and reduce the rate of unemployment in Nigeria.
He appealed to the federal government to endeavor to fund the sector with a view to boost the sector, noting that, Maritime has so much if our financial institutions are revived.
According to him, “The major problem is that our financial industry only gives loans on commercial basis, which has one of the highest interest rates”.
He said ,”When you are going to get a loan for 35 per cent or 28 per cent, which is the cheapest; tell me what you can afford to achieve with a 28 per cent interest rate”.
“If you request for N10 billion to commence a project and you are taking it at 28 per cent, it means that you will be paying back N2.8 billion to the owners of the money yearly,’’ Egenti said.
He wondered if such a business would ever survive.
The ship owner suggested that there should be a way of bringing in funds for shipping business and not commercial loans.
The mariner said the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund CVFF, was unreliable as there had been no beneficiary.

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