The Parliamentary Opposition has called on the Speaker of Parliament Sir Allan Kemakeza to reprimand the Minister for Culture and Tourism Hon. Samuel Manetoali for contempt of Parliament for lying during the last sitting of the House that the government had settled all its outstanding dues with contractors for the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts.
The call follows a revelation in the media by FOPA contractors that the government still owe them a total of $17-Million.
The statement says the revelation is a proof that the Minister for Culture and Tourism has lied in Parliament.
The Opposition leader says to be precise Mr Manetoali uttered a ‘Yes’ when he was asked by the Opposition Leader during the committee supply stage of the 2014 Budget whether all FOPA contractors have been paid.
In essence, he has not just lied to Parliament but also to the contractors and suppliers who to this date are still unpaid, Hon. Dr Sikua said.
The Opposition Leader meanwhile urged the Prime Minister to urgently call for a Parliament meeting to approve a supplementary appropriation budget to enable the government to pay up all its outstanding dues with the FOPA contractors and other unbudgeted government expenses as soon as possible.
He said it is a sad state of affair when the government does not honour its financial obligations to its service providers let alone the 11th FOPA contractors who have contributed significantly to the country’s successful hosting of this prestigious pacific regional event.