THE Minister of Finance and Treasury, and Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the Leader of Opposition or whoever advised the Leader on the Government’s approach to settle the $204 million on outstanding bills grossly lacks understanding on the whole issue.
Mr Sogavare said if the Leader of Opposition as claimed in the Solomon Star issue on Friday 8 December 2017, wished to be provided the outline of $204 million outstanding claims and invoices in the system, he should formally write to the Finance Minister to obtain accurate answers rather than spilling out ill-conceived statements in the media.
In responding to the Leader of Opposition, Mr Sogavare said, “that the published article is unclear to ascertain whether it is from the Leader of the Official Opposition, or from a Journalist scavenging for information.
“Irrespective of who sought the information, what we can confirm at this level is that both the Constituency Development Fund; and the National Transport Initiative Programme payments made up the large proportion of the outstanding invoices,” Mr Sogavare stated.
He added, “the Government is committed to clear some of these payments, grants, contracts and essential payments including utility bills, rentals, and other fixed costs.
“The Government has taken full responsibility of the current cash flow situation since assuming power and is committed to ensure that fiscal situation is brought under control in 2018.”
In relation to the final settlement of the outstanding agreement with LSL for the acquisition of Hells Point and Bloody Ridge land parcels and transfer of 20% shares in RIPEL to the SIG, Mr Sogavare assures the Opposition Leader and public in general, that any transaction will be transparently executed in accordance with mandatory requirements and to suggest otherwise indicates a lack of understanding about management of public finances.