By EDDIE OSIFELO
METROPOLIS Pacific Pte Limited has confirmed the letter requesting $21.9 million for the payment of 30 houses sent to the Government came from them.
The letter, which was leaked on social media, was addressed to the Minister of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, Frederick Kologeto on 17th May 2021.
In the letter the company is seeking Government to prepare a payment of $21.9 million for the first 30 completed houses proposed for the Public Servants Housing Scheme at Mamara, North West Guadalcanal.
The letter was also copied to number for Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and the Premier of Guadalcanal Province.
Members of the public have criticised the company’s credibility when the letter was leaked.
However, General Manager of Metropolis Pacific Pte Ltd, William Ling said the letter was to notify the government of the delivery date for the first batch of houses.
Ling said this communication was a typical notification that “we, the developers, shall have delivered on our promised first batch of brand-new urban houses within the stipulated time frame.”
He said the purchase of the homes in bulk by the government is by way of being an intermediary between developer and the civil servants, in order to meet the demand from this part of the population.
“The homes shall immediately be allocated to civil servants who wish to own their own home.
“The funds used to purchase these houses shall ultimately come from the civil servants by way of their own savings, provident funds or housing credit from banks and financial institutions, and not at taxpayers’ expense,” he said.
“Our commitment to a project of this magnitude and complexity demonstrate our dedication and belief in the improvement of the Solomon Islands economy, the expansion of its community, its potential for industry and tourism, further development, and future investment.
“We welcome feedback and kind criticism, and hope for ongoing support as our project takes off,” he said.
Ling said there are many positive outcomes that can only eventuate with continued momentum, willingness from international investors, cooperation from the Solomon Islands government, and patience from the public.
Earlier, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI), Riley Mesepitu clarified that the proposal to buy houses is still to be approved as the Government has set up a Taskforce headed by the Ministry of Public Service to review the Public Service Rental Scheme to compare financing options for the Housing scheme.
Mesepitu said the outcome of the review would be presented to cabinet in June for consideration before any decision can be made.
Opposition Leader, Mathew Wale has also called on the government to explain the claim by Metropolis Mamara Development Ltd for payment in relation to houses built under the Mamara Township Development Project.