Website alleges fraudulent activity within VNPF

The website Talemaot has published certain serious allegations against the Vanuatu National Provident Fund, saying members are worried over how their funds are spent. The salary of the general manager, at VT 700,000 a month, and human resources director, at over VT 500,000 a month, are the first points of complaint given by Radio Vanuatu News. And then are mentioned investment policies. The first is the Bouffa Plantation land purchased for a subdivision for blocks for fund members which subsequently became a farm, planned by a government employed relative of the general manager. Then there is the Nasama Resort at Pango. The tendering process is questioned, it being built by the former vice-chairman of the VNPF whose workmen are not registered with the VNPF said this morning’s bulletin. VNPF management would not provide answers to Talemaot and would seem to be short on communication with members, too.

Daily Post leads with “teachers not backing down” over the issue of “salary justification”. These are the teachers who originally met at the Lycée Louis Antoine de Bougainville recently under the chairmanship of Mr Iati Bergmans who was subsequently suspended for holding such a meeting. This news site feels the teachers themselves would do well to improve their information service to the media, giving more detail of both their salaries and the issue of those who have been unpaid for some years. Both matters are of utmost importance. Teachers feel that their union, the VTU, has not properly served their interests and are holding another meeting today at the Chiefs’ Nakamal at 4 pm.

The Labour Party says the government must again consult the Labour Act Cap.160 concerning the minimum wage in the country, in view of the forthcoming government planned increase. It made the radio statement on the heels of the government announcing an increase, anyway. The high cost of living was mentioned, especially fuel. However, the story rather gave the impression of further electoral campaigning as do governments’ efforts in this regard before every election.

A pre-campaign move of enormous intelligence comes from MP Ralph Regenvanu’s Graon mo Jastis Pati. It is requiring all Graon mo Jastis candidates to contribute 25% of their MP allocation into education. A much better educated Vanuatu and government are quite clearly essential before our fourth decade.

A letter in the Daily Post points out the nonsensical attitude of government in expecting the WTO to fix Vanuatu’s kava problems. It won’t. It can’t. We have to get kava on the codex alimentarius list of safe foods of the FAO. And as we were told when the Europeans were here, and told by the Germans themselves, we have to write to them about their ban to get it lifted. And instead of continually poncing around Europe complaining, it would be good we write that letter, have it printed and print the response. Kava farmers could then know something useful was finally being done. And what about closer, non-European markets such as Australia and China?

Councillors in the reinstated Port Vila Municipal Council have reported dissatisfaction with the political alliances of certain of their colleagues following Prime Minister Sato Kilman seeing a need to reflect the national coalition in the council. Townspeople would prefer their dissatisfaction be directed to the state of the last few hundred metres of the wharf road.

The Vanuatu Disabled Society is conducting a study of the needs for wheelchairs, crutches and other aids required by rural and urban disabled people. Motivation Australia is helping them in the undertaking which is going to Craig Cove and Luganville as well as Vila.

Chiefs of central Pentecost are said to be insisting on compensation for the life of escaped prisoner Moses Kilton before his burial.