BY SAMIE WAIKORI
MALAITA provincial government has refuted a recent media report saying the province is still participating in usurious loans.
Provincial Secretary, Mr Jackson Gege stood out to invalidate the statement saying it’s incorrect and doesn’t reflect the true current situation of the province.
Gege wish to shed light on this matter in response to the Auditor General’s report on borrowing situation of Malaita province.
He explained that “MPG cannot deny the fact of borrowing, but this was an issue in the past and now the province is free from it and it is no longer an issue.”
“To be true here on the side of MPG, we did borrow small amount of funds two to three years ago especially for the salary of provincial workers,”
“So the issue raised is however true, but at the moment all borrowings were settled and the province is debt free of borrowing and no longer on borrowing business,” Gege said.
He went on to say that one thing people should understand is when MART government came in; borrowing is one among the existing issues face.
“They try their best to do away with it, but it was very challenging and hard as they go bit by bit to address it,” Gege said.
He said finally MPG has did and proud to tell Malaitans that “at the moment MPG has no credit at all of its borrowing.
Gege said this is the result of efforts put in by MPG in an effort to address the issues.
In term of other debts, he said MPG has been able to clear their NPF debts and received formal acknowledgement from them thanking MPG for paying off their debts with NPF.
Gege said another big debt for the province was the PAYE where a recorded amount of $7.7m was said to be outstanding since 2007.
He said they are able to pay half of it and have another $3m to repay.
Gege said this is how committed MPG is in pursuing their debts.
He said it is challenging and not really easy to get away from these situations. He said however they are able to do it and progress with their commitment to settle the debts.
Gege said drawing on the contrast, when MART government came into power, they found it hard to even pay the salary of their staff because of the big debts.
He said as the debt issue eases over the years, the province is now ready to move on.
“One surprising thing is the province now employed more officers to work under province and to be paid under the salary of province government.
“Employing these officers it generated an excessive cost for MPG, but surprisingly we never go into debt,” Gege said.
In terms of auditing, he said the province is pursuing positive outcomes of its auditing issues.
PS Gege thanked the MPG especially those behind the effort to ensure Malaita province is free from debts and borrowing.