Agovaka blocking project funds from Malaita is shameful: Wale

Leader of Opposition Matthew Wale has labelled statements by the Minister for Aviation, Peter Chanel Agoaka as misleading and inciteful.

The Island Sun newspaper ran an article in Wednesday’s paper (July 7, 2021) which quoted Mr Agovaka as saying that he is deferring a paper he intends to take to Cabinet to redirect SIRAP funding of USD31.7m away from Malaita to give Malaita MPs the opportunity to talk to the Malaita Premier and Provincial government.

Mr Wale said this statement by Agovaka is clearly intended as a threat to Malaita province to either accept China Harbour Engineering or nothing. He said this is shameful.

Wale said the World Bank’s procurement process that Agovaka claims to be insisting on has itself recommended the rejection of the bid submitted by China Harbour Engineering as non-compliant.

“In other words, under the current tender process, the bid by China Harbour Engineering cannot progress further.

“The statement by Hon Agovaka that the tender process is frustrated by Malaita provincial government’s position on the bidder is simply not true,” the Opposition Leader stressed.

Wale added that it does not make much sense to withdraw the entire funding for the roads and bridges, on the purported disagreement relating to the bridge only.

“In any case, this disagreement with the bidder is not even an issue in the tender procurement process as the bid itself has been determined by the World Bank to be non-compliant,” Wale added.

The Opposition Leader calls on Agovaka and the government to be rational about this matter and allow the World Bank procurement process to progress as it should in the case we now find ourselves in – that the bid is non-compliant, adding that the government should not interfere in this process.


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