12 Jan 2011

Solomons opposition demands explanation over PNG payment

10:16 am on 12 January 2011

The Solomon Islands opposition has called on the Government to explain a four hundred thousand US dollar payment to the Papua New Guinea High Commission in Honiara.

The opposition leader, Steve Abana, says they have obtained documents showing that the deposit was made on the 6th of December into a PNG High Commission Bank account with Bank South Pacific.

He says the Government is obliged to explain to the taxpayers of Solomon Islands the purpose of the money.

The SIBC reports Mr Abana as saying he is aware that the local construction company contracted to build the PNG Chancery in Honiara had written to the former Finance and Treasury Minister, Francis Billy Hilly, asking the government to provide a sovereign guarantee in order to secure a bank loan to complete the chancery building.

He says work on the Chancery building came to a halt last year not long after Transworld Construction ran out of money to pay its employees and meet other contractual obligations.