Opposition Leader MP Ishmael Kalsakau (r) and Deputy Opposition Leader MP Kilman (l)

By Godwin Ligo

One of the many issues raised by the Opposition Group during a press conference yesterday at Parliament House

, was what the Opposition Leader, Ishmael Kalsakau, described as 19 investments made by the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) from 2009 to 2014

, which he said were classified as poorly and non-income earning investments.

Two of the 19 investments mentioned by the Opposition were Bouffa Range on Efate and Milai Farm on Santo, that have also been featured in articles published by the Daily Post.

In response, the Minister of Finance, Gaetan Pikioune, said since the new Government came into power early this year and with the new Board of Directors and the new General Manager, just appointed, they have made recommendations to the Government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry to look into the past investments done by the past Governments and Boards.

The Finance Minister said the previous Boards did not fully follow the policy guidelines which is why the new Government, the new Board and the new General Manager are recommending to the Government to set up a Commission of Inquiry to look into the past investments and seek solutions that would sort out the past investments and would better serve the interest of the members.

In the Opposition press conference, the Opposition acknowledged the Minister of Finance’s willingness to disclose the list of what it termed poorly and non-performing investment of VNPF to the Leader of the Opposition because, the Opposition said all previous requests made directly to the Board and Management has not produced any positive result.

In response Minister Pikounne, said this is the reason why both the new Ministry of Finance, the new Board and the new General Manager are making recommendations to the Government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry which would carry out investigations into the past investments, then make recommendations to the present government on necessary steps to take in relation to the investments that will safeguard and be more beneficial to the VNPF members.

The Minister of Finance said the Government through the Ministry of Finance, the new Board and the new General Manager, will ensure and guarantee best future investments for the VNPF members.

The Minister of Finance assured the Government through the new Board and Management has the objective to ensure any future investments must have the assurance, the guarantee and the satisfaction of the Government of the day that future investments will bring back the best for the VNPF members and reiterate the intention of the government to investigate past investments.

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