23 Sep 2013

Vanuatu watchdog fears 50 year contract in airport deal

1:22 pm on 23 September 2013

Transparency International in Vanuatu says it has identified several concerns over airport developments proposed for the country.

The government has plans for a huge new airport on Efate and upgrades in other provinces.

The watchdog's president, Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson, says there has been limited information from the government about the nature of the deal, but a serious concern is the prospect of the company involved being given a fifty year contract to also operate the airports.

She says Vanuatu has been down a similar path before with its electricity and water utilities and each time it has been a problem for the country.

"Because you don't contract any aspect of your country's activity or assets for a period of 50 years without having a serious discussion with all the parties concerned, with all the stake holders and that was not done."

Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson.