More ministries, less vehicles; questions asked about Niscol blaze

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas spoke of his sympathy for the people of Fiji in their suffering from the ravages of Cyclone Winston as he was touring his Pentecost constituency over the long weekend to mark the anniversary of the death of Fr Walter Lini, the country’s first PM. Twenty-eight people are now known to have died in Fiji. PM Salwai wrote to the Fiji PM concerning the deepest sympathy and sincere condolence of the people of Vanuatu. He referred to Fiji as a close friend of Vanuatu’s and promised Vanuatu’s support.

On Pentecost, too, PM Tabimasmas yesterday confirmed there would be three new ministries in Government following the agreement of all political leaders in the government. One such ministry mentioned by Radio Vanuatu News at lunchtime today is Fisheries. That service would be removed from Agriculture so that Agriculture could be dealt with as “the backbone of the economy” Salwai said. The Prime Minister killed a pig on North Pentecost and was awarded a custom name in marking the Lini Day remembrance activities.

Deputy PM Joe Natuman gave a moving address at the Lini Day commemoration activities in Port Vila. Daily Post reports his recollections of the Independence struggle to the congregation and invited guests at the Lini Memorial at the Anglican Church, Tagabe, on Sunday.

Daily Post today has recorded the DG of the Pacific Community being impressed with how the Fisheries services have responded to the ravages of cyclone Pam. Dr Colin Tukuitonga has been visiting Fisheries staff and projects at the Tagabe fish and prawn hatchery, Mangaliliu prawn farm and the Rongorongowia Youth Project at Siviri.

The Minister for Public Utilities has announced a Government plan to reduce the number of G vehicles in use, not always when they should be. Minister Jotham Napat said there had never been enough attention paid by governments to the issue of mis-use of government vehicles. Furthermore, some 400 million vatu is normally expended on G vehicles.

An audit supposed to be taking place on the NISCOL stevedoring company at Luganville has been delayed owing to the police investigation of the fire in the headquarters building at the weekend. Questions have been asked in social media as to why the police and fire services were unable to control the conflagration in the neighbouring building of NISCOL, Radio Vanuatu reported.