31 Mar 2016

Solomons Ports crisis deepens

3:05 pm on 31 March 2016

The Solomon Islands government says it is looking to investigate allegations of bribery and financial misuse in the country's ports raised by local businesses in a meeting with caucus this week.

The allegations are an additional blow to an already beleaguered Ports Authority which has been criticised for its slower processing times and fee increases of more than 250 percent.

The Chief Executive of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce, Greg Terrill, said the reforms continue to have a worsening impact on business and consumers in the capital.

"We are now looking at one of the major exporters [Guadalcanal Plantations Palm Oil Ltd] closing down production for several days. There is discussion on whether or not there should be an independent investigation into the ever increasing number of financial misdealing and alleged payments of bribes."

Greg Terrill said an acute shortage of medical supplies at the National Referral Hospital this week has also been blamed on the difficulty of getting consignments through the ports.