By Alfred Sasako
GULATATA’E Shipping Enterprises Ltd – the company that runs the LC Gulatata’e – has finally paid up its restoration and registration fees, the shipping company spokesman John Kennedy Taufunu told Island Sun last Friday.
Mr Taufunu said the payment totalling $2, 300 was made on 11th May this year – days after the registration issue was raised in the media.
Company Haus told Island Sun then that Gulatata’e Shipping Enterprises Ltd, along with its sister company, Gulatata’e Land Transport Services Ltd were removed from Company Haus register because of failure to file annual returns.
Both companies’ filing of annual returns fall due in February each year. Due to this failure, both companies were removed from the register on 1st September last year – eight months overdue.
The payment a week ago may not totally exonerate the company from the Company Haus requirements that it files its annual returns every February.
Island Sun was unable to confirm with Company Haus whether or not it has received the payment, receipt number 0530059, issued by Treasury on Friday 11th May 2018.
It is possible that Gulatata’e Shipping Enterprises Ltd may now be required to open its books to auditors after shareholder, Titus Fika, announced for the first time that the LC Gulatata’e is owned by the East Kwaio Constituency and not the shareholders.
Mr Fika owns a 20 per cent stake in the shipping business, according to Company Haus documents. Mr Fika who is also the Speaker of the Malaita Provincial Assembly has denied holding a share in the shipping venture.
John Kennedy Taufunu, who also holds a 40 per cent stake in the shipping business has also confirmed the ownership of the LCC Gulatata’e, saying it is owned by the East Kwaio Constituency.
Mr Taufunu said last week that arrangements are being made to transfer the ownership of the ship to the people of East Kwaio as the initial arrangement for the shareholding was done in a hurry.
He also denied the shareholders had received dividends from the LC Gulatata’e’s commercial operations in more than two years.