Market vendor strike ends; MPs receive Vt 290M gratuity payment

Back in business today: Port Vila's main market house. Photo: Wikimapia

Back in business today: Port Vila’s main market house. Photo: Wikimapia

Yesterday’s market vendor strike lasted just a day. Port Vila fresh produce markets are all open today. There sound to have been multiple misunderstandings, and the Vanuatu Daily Digest will await clarification by saying nothing more at this time.

The 52 members of the tenth legislature have received Vt 290 million between them as their gratuity for their term in office. The ex-politicians currently in prison for taking bribes also receive the termination severance fee. (Daily Post)

GJP MP for Tanna Andrew Napuat has publicly presented the accounts of his MP allocation to constituents, and like other GJP politicians he has invested heavily in school fees. In 2016, the MP spent Vt 1.3 million, contributing to the education of 36 students. His transparent financial reporting is said to be the Read the rest of this entry »

Govt appoints new DGs; scale of VNPF’s non-performing investments substantial

Statue outside Vanuatu's Parliament

Six acting Directors-General have been appointed by Government. They are Sam Namuri (Public Works), Benjamin Shing (Agriculture), Michael Mangawai (Lands), Pakoa Siri (Justice), Jesse Dick (Education) and George Borugu (Trade and Tourism). They have all been advised of what is expected of them as Directors General and have been notified of the consequences of misconduct. A performance review will take place in 12 months. There are specific terms of reference for two DGs relating to Cyclone Pam recovery for Trade and Tourism, and the backlog in processing customary land ownership and leases for Lands. (Daily Post)

The total of non-performing investments considered by the Vanuatu National Provident Fund Commission of Inquiry is colossal. There were VNPF loans for both properties and equities including Read the rest of this entry »

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from the Vanuatu Daily Digest!

beach christmas

Merry Christmas and season’s greetings to all of our valued readers! Vanuatu Daily Digest will take a few days break and will resume after Family Day. Thank you for visiting us in 2016, we hope to see you next year. Meanwhile, in today’s news…

The revelations from the Commission of Inquiry into the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) continue. Daily Post reveals today that a Fijian national was recruited to become VNPF General Manager early last year, without a valid work permit. This created rifts between VNPF staff. He had previously worked for Westpac Bank in Vanuatu and discussions concerning his subsequent employment were pushed by certain VNPF Board members before the post was actually advertised. The COI investigations have now drawn to a close after 26 interviews, and the Commission’s final report is soon to be released to government.

Two MPs of the Graon mo Jastis Party (GJP) were sacked from the party this week. They are Read the rest of this entry »

VNPF oversight of Wilco and Bouffa investments highly irregular, inquiry hears


The trust that the Vanuatu public have in the Vanuatu National Provident Fund, the news today shows, has been frequently abused in a series of large investments by the fund. In the case of the purchase of the Wilco properties, there was a conflict of interest for the CEO of Wilco, Tukana Bovoro, to also be on the Board of the VNPF while the board was negotiating to buy Wilco Hardware Holdings Limited. Bovoro declared his conflict of interest, yet the VNPF management at the time did not see fit to step in, despite the VNPF Act requiring those with conflicts of interest to absent themselves from deliberations over matters relating to their interests, and the investment was given the go-ahead. The issue was hotly debated in the media at the time, but incredibly, the VNPF Board accepted the vendor’s own valuation, VNPF Board Member Ephraim Kalsakau said. He went on: the Board did not require an independent valuer to value the two properties and “did not request the audited financial investments Read the rest of this entry »

VNPF inquiry learns of zero return from Vt300M investment in Club Vanuatu

VNPF Building, Port Vila. Photo: Jean Van Jean

VNPF Building, Port Vila. Photo: Jean Van Jean

The official inquiry into the Vanuatu National Provident Fund has learned that the VNPF’s failed investment in the now defunct Club Vanuatu cost the Fund over Vt 300 million and earned zero returns for members. There would appear to be a wide level of Read the rest of this entry »

Vanuatu offers seasonal workers to help fill agricultural labour gap in Tasmania

A Ni-Vanuatu seasonal worker at work packing apples in Australia's southern island state, Tasmania. Photo: DFAT

A Ni-Vanuatu seasonal worker at work packing apples in Australia’s southern island state, Tasmania. Photo: DFAT

Tasmania is interested in seasonal workers from Vanuatu and the southern Australian island state seems poised to take advantage of this. A delegation has called on Vanuatu’s High Commissioner in Australia, Kalfao Kaloris, to try to make this happen. However, the issue of a proposed lower ‘backpacker tax’ rate designed to encourage seasonal workers to come to Australia is yet to be resolved in Australia’s Parliament. (VBTC)

The former GM of the VNPF has had a claim for Vt 36 million refused by the Chief Justice in the Supreme Court after already receiving a payment of Vt 6 million on termination. She claimed her termination payment breached the terms of her contract. The Chief Justice did not agree and so her claim was Read the rest of this entry »

Upgrade needed for plant to allow for locally-caught fish to be exported from Vanuatu, says Govt

tuna fishing

The Vanuatu Government is fully committed to the agreement made with the CNFC Overseas Fishery Corporation of China signed in Beijing in 2004 in relation to the Blacksands fish processing plant. Minister Matai Seremaiah wants the plant fully renovated, he told those present for the offload of frozen fish at the main wharf last Friday. Minister Seremaiah appealed to the task force for the Sino-Van fishery comprising officials of his Fisheries Department and MIPU to work together to ensure deadlines are set for the completion of the work at Blacksands. He says it is very frustrating that fish caught in Vanuatu waters by Chinese vessels carrying Vanuatu flags were being unloaded in Fiji and the catch sold as produce of Fiji. (Daily Post, yesterday)

A letter to the Daily Post from the VNPF Commision of Inquiry (CoI) Chairman clarifies Read the rest of this entry »