BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
RUSSELL Islands Plantation Estates Ltd (RIPEL) put down concern that they are operating ‘illegal’ in Central Islands Province (CIP).
On earlier media issue that the CIP Provincial Government and Administration deemed RIPEL operating illegal in the province by failing to pay its ‘Business License’, RIPEL advises to note that as a company, it has not been “operational” for a while now since 2004. And, that it is only fair that the Company should pay a ‘licence fee’ for continuing to be registered, but not a fee for being operational.
Premier Hon Stanley Manetiva speaking through the Media two weeks ago said RIPEL fails to pay its Business License in the province as attempt for them to pay fail ‘miserably’.
Mr Manetiva went on to say that RIPEL has too many arrears to pay, and only lame excuses have been received from its Directors when requested.
With that, the Premier of CIP questions the current status and establishment of RIPEL in CIP saying despite the Treasury Division of the province earlier giving ‘debit note’ twice had not received response.
In response to concern, RIPEL Director Mr Patrick Wong advise to note that RIPEL as a company has not been “operational” for a while now and that accordingly it is fair that the Company should pay a licence fee for continuing to be registered, but not a fee for being operational.
“Please note that RIPEL as a company have not been “operational” since the Solomon Islands Court of Appeal and High Court of Solomon Islands, reconfirm that the Strike by SINUW was illegal. This was back around in 2004,” said Wong.
“RIPEL, as a company has not produced any Copra or Cocoa or any income from the Russell Islands, since 2004.
“Accordingly it is fair that the Company should pay a licence fee for continuing to be registered, but not a fee for being operational.”
Mr Wong assured this paper yesterday that their Board after responding will reach out to the CIP Premier and Administration to resolve this issue.
“The Board will now immediately reach out to Premier and CIP to resolve this,” said Wong.
From RIPEL’s response, CIP’s Premier Stanley Manetiva yesterday told this paper as well that it is good to sort out such areas of concern in the province in order to move forward positively towards developments.