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Banks shun loan proposals for vessels acquisition

by Business News Report

* As NISA crisis deepens
* Factions work across purposes

THE crisis presently rocking the Nigerian Ship-owners Association, (NISA) last week, took a new dimension as Banks participating in the ship acquisition have shunned and stopped processing loan application for vessel acquisition from local ship operators planning to acquire ships to boost their fleets.

The move by banks to stop processing loan applications for Nigerian ship-owners is due to the fact that Banks are confused as to what group in the now factionalised body to deal with in processing loan applications. The banks need a corporate guarantee for each application which the Association is suppose to provide for its members. Disclosing this development last week in Lagos, Secretary General of the break away faction of the Association, Mr. Tunji Brown said that the banks are now very skeptical of dealing with any of the groups as the banks claim they do not do no know which of faction is genuine umbrella body of ship-owners in Nigeria.
According to Brown, the need to reconcile the various groups with a view to working together for the common good of the association cannot be emphasized. He blamed the President, Captain Niyi Labinjo for the crisis rocking the association.
Brown refused to disclose full details of the reason why Captain Labijo was being asked to step aside. He said that until the matter was resolved and the authority cleared Labinjo of any wrong doing, the elected President remains suspended.
Brown who spoke at a purported Annual General Meeting of the association held at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos said that effort to get Labinjo to see reason for his suspension was futile as Labinjo is insisting that a private business deal with partners should not be the business of the association.
The NISA scribe said the association would not have intervened in the failed business deal because it was a private business but the fact that the company petitioned the association, the Federal Ministry of Transport, and the EFCC got them involved.
He also said the botched deal has had a toll on NISA members as banks were skeptical in doing business with them.
Speaking on the development, Mr, Eddy Idigo of Fidelity Bank told Vanguard that the Banks are very much concern about the crisis in the association.
Idigo said that it will not be proper to give money to a group who cannot provide corporate guarantee for such loan applications adding that the banks are being careful as to whom to disburse monies to.
The annual Nigerian Maritime Exposition otherwise known as NIMAREX which is an initiatitive of the Labinjo led group, has also been affected as two planning Committees working with separate members have been constituted.
His words, “NISA is divided into two and that is affecting NIMAREX. Banks are calling; sponsors of the event are calling to know what is happening in the association.”
Speaking on the development, Mr. Greg Ogbeifun called on the warring parties to shield their sword and give peace a chance to move the association forward. A member of the association who was also in attendance at the meeting of last week, Mr. Ayorinde Adedoyin told Vanguard that some of the banks are members of the association and they have a way of passing information to each other.
Adedoyin also said that there are members who have new contracts but the banks are not willing to fund such contracts as a result of the current crisis. In his reaction, President of the NISA, Capt Niyi Labinjo said that the idea that Banks are shunning loans applications is the figment of the imagination of the break away group.

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