Solomon Islands Union Calls For Deportation Of Port CEO

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Consultant proposed restructure plan far too costly

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, April 21, 2015) – The Workers Union of Solomon Islands (WUSI) is calling on the Government to immediately deport the Chief Executive Officer of the Solomon Islands Ports Authority.

The Workers Union is also calling on the Government to ban the 10 Singapore consultants recruited by the Ports Authority, from re-entering the country.

General Secretary Tony Kagovai in a press statement said the 11 Singapore nationals had entered the country and were working for some time with the Solomon Islands Ports Authority without work and residence permits.

He says this constitutes a very serious breach of Solomon Islands laws.

The Workers Union General Secretary also reiterated his call for the Government to set up an immediate investigation into how they entered and worked in the country without work and residence permits.

Meanwhile, the Workers Union General Secretary has also called on the Government to investigate the five-year reform program the Ports Authority CEO and consultants plan to implement in the organisation.

Mr Kangovai says the initial restructure proposed by the ADB scoping mission in its November 2011 Report would cost only $11 million [US$1.4 million] to implement from 2012 to 2022.

He says instead Mr Yow, the ten Singapore consultants and the Chair, came up with a five-year reform programme that would cost the Ports Authority around $1 billion, 564 million [US$201 million] from 2013 to 2017.

Mr Kangovai said the dispute at the Ports Authority is about the manner in which the Singapore officers were recruited and employed illegally in the country.

He said the dispute is also related to spending in which the CEO and consultants were brought in to implement an $11 million dollar [US$1.4 million] restructure program but have already spent $29 million [SU$3.7 million] in only 12 months, and with no tangible justification for the spending.

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