Local businessman clarifies speculations

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The ATL building of the Advance Technology.
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BY LYNTON AARON FILIA

OWNER of the Advance Technology has clarified speculations alleging his new business complex is on sale with intentions to contest in the upcoming National General Election.

It has been debated between people of East Are’are in Malaita province and customers that Hudson Wakio, Managing Director and owner of the Advanced Technology, plans to sell the newly opened commercial complex – ATL building.

It is discussed that Advanced Technology proposes to sell it at $48 million, while its development expenses stands at $24 million.

It is noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFT) had shown interest but was turned down by cabinet due to internal matters related to the current Member of Parliament for East Are’are, Mr Andrew Manepora’a.

A spokesman, who requested anonymity, said Cabinet turned down the proposal because it’s very costly.

Also it is said Mr Wakio wants to compete in the upcoming national election, and that the money from the sale is meant to cater for logistics, campaign expenses and other related matters.

In response, Wakio said he is not intending to run in the upcoming National General Election or interested in politics but is willing to support a particular candidate he believes has a heart for people of Solomon Islands.

He said currently he supports Peter Kenilorea Junior who is an intending candidate who will contest for the East Are’are constituency in Malaita province.

“I am not interested to try to run for politics now or in next 10 years or so but if I wanted to, I’m 100 percent sure to win because people of East Are’are wants me more than anyone and whoever I support people will follow me,” Wakio said.

With regards to his commercial building, Wakio explained he has no intention of selling it but it’s the Solomon Islands Government that needs a building to house MFAET and an international organisation in the country.

“So they choose ATL because it is a four storey building which has enough space,” he adds.

Wakio adds, “I accepted MFAET’s offer not because of the intention to just sale it or any issue with bank or external issues but it is because I see it as an opportunity as such amount will never come often.”

It was reportedly MFAET’S plan to purchase because their current office complex’s owner sold it at $38M.

The Ministry is said to be looking at three options, which are Sea King building cost around SBD$30 plus million and ATL building is at SBD$45M not the 48M, he explained.

Wakio explained $48M is a valuation of SIG but his offer is $45M, and value to ANZ bank is $43M, and currently it is reduced to $40M by a Singaporean evaluation.

“Why I put $45M because $40M value is only for the house but not including the new extension which is currently underway,” Wakio said.

Meanwhile, Advanced Technology is currently undergoing major improvement with additional extension which comprises of a new IT room, phone shop, vehicles parking area and other business matters.

This new expansion will make enough space for Advance Technology officers and service deliveries to their valued customers when completed.

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