8 Jun 2010

Tonga Government says Noble's consultancy fee no business of the public

10:49 am on 8 June 2010

The Tongan Government has expressed anger at claims that a Noble consulting on the Tonga Energy Roadmap is being paid more than a thousand US dollars a day.

The Roadmap, which is funded by donor countries, aims to make Tonga less dependent on fossil fuels.

According to newspapers in Tonga, Noble 'Akau'ola and at least one other staff member are paid salaries equating to quarter of a million US dollars a year.

But the Tonga Prime Minister's Office says Noble 'Akau'ola is employed as a consultant and details of his contract are a matter for him and the Government.

It praises Noble 'Akau'ola's work in co-ordinating the development of the Energy Roadmap and attracting world-wide recognition, and support from donors and energy industry experts.

The Roadmap aims to have fifty percent of grid-based electricity supplied from renewable energy within three years.