Vanuatu daily news digest | 21 July 2014Posted: July 21, 2014
The Prime Minister is committed to taking action against anyone breaking the Leadership Code Act he re-stated at the end of last week. This is why his government will be giving more power to the Ombudsman to deal with leadership matters. He was speaking at the twentieth anniversary celebrations of the Ombudsman Office in Vanuatu.
The number of State Owned Enterprises under examination by the Ministry of Finance has changed since last reported. Radio Vanuatu News at the weekend reported the Government Business Enterprise Unit, with assistance from the Asian Development Bank, carrying out the review. The list is now given as Metenesel Estates Limited, National Housing Corporation, Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board, VBTC (Radio and TV Vanuatu) and Vanuatu Post. In the last reporting, Vanuatu Post was not included as showing diminished profits. Prime Minister Natuman announced it as his intention to review SOEs when he was voted to power so recently. The Finance Minister last week requested a legislative change to make it impossible to appoint politicians to SOE boards. The manifold failures of such boards are seen to be the responsibility of their political appointees by the Natuman Government as well as the general public.
Political appointees, however, through their spokesman Robert Bohn, are given great mileage this morning by Daily Post to talk about what their newly appointed consultant from the United States is doing as regards their unwanted new airport for which Bohn is the ad hoc review committee chairman. Bohn does not answer Prime Minister Natuman’s ultimatum of three weeks ago concerning the state of Bauerfield. Our existing international airport is likely to be closed to all traffic at short notice because the ad hoc committee on Rentabau keeps ignoring it.
Sustainable tourism activity has, however, been under discussion by the Airlines of Melanesia grouping of the MSG which in Port Vila has been looking at the specific tourism requirements which are unique to the region. And an agreement touching many aspects of tourism is currently being signed by the New Zealand and Vanuatu Governments without the assistance of US consultants. A further boost has been given to local confidence in the aviation sector by the entirely locally owned Belair Airways Limited. The company’s purchase of a Britten Norman Islander, just arrived, will be flown by two local professional pilots even though Bohn claims there are no professionals qualified to run aviation. He makes the same disparaging statement over maritime affairs in which his company has made a lot of money running the Vanuatu flag of convenience.