The House of Reps ad-hoc Committee investigating the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF, has queried the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, over $326million it paid to Global West Specialist Vessels Limited, a company purportedly owned by ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo.The House Committee was set up to ascertain how much has accrued into the CVFF, including the interest, as well as how much the Fund disbursed and to whom it gave the money.It also demanded to know why such huge amount of payment was made to Tompolo’s company secretly.
During the investigation, a member of the Committee, Dr Adejare Samuel Babatunde, raised an alarm at the amount of money paid to one single company, and demanded that a detailed bank statement of account of the CVFF be forwarded to the committee immediately.
The committee, it was gathered, was also shocked by the payment of 50% of NIMASA’s generated revenue to the said company, contrary to laid down financial regulations of government.
The committee also picked holes at the NIMASA’s CVFF accounts and demanded an explanation on the movement of monies from the Fund to other accounts secretly.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, expressed concern at the state of the Nigerian maritime industry, which he said has been occasioned by ineptitude and poor regulatory framework.
His words: “The fear is that some unpatriotic people are misapplying the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund to the detriment of its objectives.
“Following the concern expressed by stakeholders and the Nigerian public on the irregularities occasioned by the misapplication of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, the House considered a motion on the subject matter and resolved to set up the Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the application of the Fund so as to address the challenges and find a way forward.”
The Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds currently stands at over N30billion, including its interest but about 50 percent of this money is likely to go to the ex-militant’s company of nothing is done.