SHIPPING GRANTS DEBACLE
Quoting the Solomon Star newspaper – 27 December 2018
“CERTAIN individuals and MPs of the 10th Parliament are believed to have enriched themselves with the controversial National Transport Initiative Grant (NTIG).
That’s according to sources familiar with the distribution of the fund.
“Established in 2013, the grant which aims to ease sea transportation difficulties across the country through the purchase of passenger vessels was said to be abused by certain individuals.
“Since 2013 MPs, individuals and private companies have received over $347.5 million.
“According to sources, in 2013 alone the grant stood at around $109 million, at which 15 individuals and private companies benefited with nine constituencies.
“In 2016, according to sources, 13 constituencies received the shipping grant and 22 individuals and private companies benefited from $77 million allocated that year.
“In 2017, 43 constituencies received grants, while 12 individuals and private companies benefited from $196.9 million made available that year.
“This means 49 individuals and private companies and 64 constituencies benefited from this so-called fund, managed by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development,” sources say.
“Whilst some of the MPs provide reports on how they use this fund the public also needs to know who are the individuals and companies that benefited from these tax payers funds.
“We only have 50 constituencies and how on earth did we end up with 64 constituencies? It is likely some MPs must have received double or triple,” a source said.
“The source said JANUS and RSIPF should take this information seriously and investigate the beneficiaries.
“The government is wasting millions of dollars through this initiative while the country’s healthcare system and other essential services continue to deteriorate,” one informant said.
“Meanwhile, no funds will be allocated for the shipping grants next year.
“This is so that MID could review the funding and assess whether it’s benefiting the country or not.”
Copyright @ 2018, Solomon Star News.