GOV’T CALLED ON TO ADDRESS MISAPPROPRIATED ROYALTIES

TSI officers at their office in China Town, Honiara. Photo: Courtesy of TSI

TSI officers at their office in China Town, Honiara. Photo: Courtesy of TSI

Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) has called on the government to address the misappropriate royalty payments to Gold Ridge Mine landowners.

TSI made this call claiming last year a total SBD$18 million of royalty payment was paid to individual accounts instead of nominated trustee accounts which was provided in the payment regulation.

A TSI statement says this is an issue of great concern as the royalty payment for shipments six to 45 appears to be a product of wrongdoing and lack of diligence by responsible authorities.

It strongly stressed, although the government has suspended the former Permanent Secretary of Mines, his financial controller and other staff for breaching payment regulation, the action fails to solve the whole issue as the government is duty bound to clear the mess and restore fairness to resource owners.

It is impossible to get government comments on this as the Parliament is in session.

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