MIPU and VNPF establish MOU on building project
By Anita Roberts
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing the framework of cooperation on a building project, has recently been signed between the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (MIPU) and the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF).
The proposal is for VNPF to fund the cost of constructing an office building for MIPU, through a loan and MIPU will repay with an interest.
The MOU was signed by the Minister for Infrastructure, Jay Ngwele, Minister for Finance Johnny Koanapo, Chairman of the VNPF Board, Letlet August and the General Manager (GM) of VNPF, Parmod Achary.
This project is a milestone in the relationship between VNPF and the government, said the Minister responsible for VNPF, Koanapo.
He said the project is an ultimate safe investment as the government will be repaying funds with interest.
The Minister said the first similar type of investment delivered by VNPF with the government was offshore -a rental property accommodating the Vanuatu’s General Consul in Noumea.
“This could be a model for VNPF to use with other government agencies,” he said. “As the Minister responsible for VNPF, I want to see that its big investments owned by its members who are the people of Vanuatu.
“Formal or informal, we as members are shareholders of these investments. We own a number of properties in town, a majority shares in the National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV) and 49 shares in UNELCO.
“We will also own the project building until when the government pays it off. This is the kind of relationship and investment that we want.
“I have assured everyone from the start that their funds are save and the fund will be engaging in safer investments which brings back profits.
“I want to take VNPF to the next level and ensure what happened with the past managements does not repeat.”
He commended the current VNPF Board and the current management under GM Achary’s leadership for reviving several non-performing projects so far, such as Wilco properties sold out recently at the market price.
Minister Koanapo thanked Minister Ngwele for the partnership in the project.
Minister Ngwele also commended VNPF for entering into the agreement with MIPU. He said after the MOU signing, works will commence on design and engineering before the project will officially start next year.