Minister of Internal Affairs and Member of Parliament (MP) for TORBA, Christophe Emelee, has accused the Bob Loughman-led coalition government of being responsible for a shortfall of over VT3 billion in the country’s 2022 national budget.
Mr. Emelee alleged that this shortfall was due to Mr. Loughman’s inability as the then Prime Minister to control his ministers.
According to Mr. Emelee, one of Mr. Loughman’s ministers informed parliament that he had diverted millions of vatu that were allocated by parliament to construct new roads for the people of TORBA to another project.
Mr. Emelee later told the Daily Post that the same minister is alleged to have diverted VT180 million meant for feeder roads in TORBA and VT800 million allocated to upgrade the airport of Motalava to become one of the country’s international airports.
Mr. Emelee also cited the new buildings of Vila Central Hospital, which did not have the approval of the Government’s Central Tenders Board (CTB). As a result, the current government is now bearing the cost of the works that have already been done.
During the parliamentary debate on the principal of the Appropriation Bill, Mr. Emelee stated that the Loughman-led government had used up over VT13 billion of the government reserve that was made by the coalition government led by former PM Charlot Salwai, and today the government reserve is empty.
He said that the current government would have to refill the reserve of Vanuatu used by the Loughman-led government.
A government minister informed the Daily Post outside parliament that the government already possesses proof of allegations of the purchase of building materials by a minister and an MP in the previous government.
The evidence will soon be submitted to the police for further investigations. The minister claimed that the current government has evidence of the public money that was used by the minister and the MP for their personal properties.
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