6 Feb 2014

Vanuatu MP crictical of Hong Kong passport company

4:28 pm on 6 February 2014

A Vanuatu opposition MP says the company set up by Vanuatu to issue passports in Hong Kong needs more checks and balances.

Willie Jimmy, who is a former ambassador to China, says he disagrees with last November's constitutional amendment to allow dual citizenship.

He says there are not enough safeguards for the Capital Investment Immigration Plan, the CIIP, and there should have been a transparent tender process before the company was appointed.

Mr Jimmy says a citizenship application will cost 310,000 US dollars, but only 25 percent of the amount will come to Vanuatu, while 75 percent is managed by the CIIP.

"It should have gone through a tender process and we should have picked out the best company that knows how to manage this programme but they have just handpicked. I am not really sure whether the whole revenue that will be collected or will actually arrive at the treasury here in Vanuatu."

Willie Jimmy says the aim was to boost revenue for the government, but he is not sure if that will be achieved.