SINU VC clarifies contract Award amid allegations of corruption


SOLOMON Islands National University (SINU) Vice Chancellor, Professor Transform Aqorau, has responded to recent allegations of corruption surrounding the award of a contract for the construction of the Faculty of Nursing Classroom and Laboratory.

The accusations were made by former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour, and Immigration, George Kosui, on social media.

Kosui had claimed that the contract was influenced by Pro Vice-Chancellor Corporate, Shadrach Fanega.

However, in an email leaked on social media, VC Aqorau communicated with the Solomon Islands National University Student Association (SINUSA) President, Ernest Kera, addressing the matter.

In his email, Aqorau acknowledged the multilayered tender process and emphasized that it would be difficult to manipulate the final outcome.

He highlighted that the student representative to the Council was present throughout the selection process, which involved presentations from four different companies.

Aqorau explained that the decisive factor in the Council’s decision was the response to a crucial question: “If Government is slow with the funds, will they be able to still complete the project?” Three of the companies (AJ Enterprise, JED Enterprise, Tropical Glass & Aluminum) provided responses indicating they couldn’t complete the project under such circumstances, while one company expressed confidence in their ability to do so.

He further stated that there were diverse opinions within the Council, and he denied claims that Fanega had unduly influenced the awarding of the contract. Aqorau emphasized that members had different views and preferences, which is expected in a committee setting.

Regarding the ongoing investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Aqorau expressed his willingness to cooperate fully and disclosed that the contract was co-signed by the Ministries of Education and Finance. He did not rule out the possibility of bribes but expressed doubts about claims that corruption influenced the final decision, given the rigorous multilayered process and the composition of the tender committee.

Aqorau reaffirmed his commitment to promoting good governance within the university and urged the next generation to embrace the values of ethical leadership, critical thinking, and good governance.

The situation continues to evolve as authorities investigate the matter.

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