By EDDIE OSIFELO
CAPE West Enterprise Limited fulfilled the Forestry regulation to export round logs from Qoiqoi, Tangarare in West Guadalcanal on June 23.
Minister of Forests and Research, Dickson Mua, confirmed this after the ministry refused to sign the export permit because Cape West needed to pay off an outstanding Anniversary Fee of $30,000.
Minister Mua posted the response on the Island Sun Facebook page after the paper ran a story that Cape West carried out a shipment without the authorisation of the Commissioner of Forest.
He said the ship had been at the camp for some time and was later allowed to load after the payment was made.
“I was informed when overseas that my advice, together with the Commissioner of Forest and the Permanent Secretary, is no payment, no loading of cargoes/logs. So, after a few days, payment was made, the export permit was approved and signed, and all export requirements were finally met,” he said.
Mua also said he was informed of some officers within his ministry who had a vested interest in the said land.
“I would also like the media or those who might know more to come forward with rumours of ‘directives from the top level.
“We must work together to stop this. While most forestry issues target the minister, we must, however, acknowledge that the minister relies on his technical officers for advice,” he said.
“I agree that there are some issues within the ministry with some officers having vested interests.
“We must not tolerate such thriving within our ministry nor encourage such,” he added.