Muthuvel Clarifies Investment

Re-elected Governor for West New Britain Province, Sasindran Muthuvel has brushed aside claims on his involvement in the WNB Haus investment.

The governor said that this election was tightly contested and he won with a narrow margin ‘I must thank my contenders for this tight race. This awakened me to do more for my people if I have to be in the race next time. There was a collective propaganda against me with my foreign origin.  He added “My people know that my loyalty is to the WNB Province first and to PNG therefore, they voted me back in. I have never gone too low to make personal and character attacks against my opponents, but criticizing someone from where he came from is not at all a healthy atmosphere for the development of our province.” 
Muthuvel clarified that the Realtors agency that managed WNB Haus in Port Moresby was not engaged by him but was appointed by the Provincial Executive Council during Francis Maneke’s term as Governor, prior to the building being opened. 
He said the company was involved in the lease negotiation and had approval for the lease before the building was handed over.
“I was advised that, PEC during Menake’s time decided to retain them to manage the building and lease, as they have secured rental at K1,700 p/sqm, where the maximum ceiling imposed by the National Executive Ccouncil is K1,400/sqm.
“I was further  advised that the success of getting K1,700/sqm enabled the WNBPG to recoup the full investment in less than six years. A government’s asset returning its full investments value in six years is something extraordinary.
“I have no issue in continuing with the company that Menake’s PEC appointed, as they have not only negotiated for K1700/sqm, but also successfully extended the defect liability period with the builder from the contracted one year period to two years.” 
Muthuvel said therefore, the builder would be responsible for all repairs, not WNBPG. They are also professionally managing the building with dedicated building management team. 
The Governor further explained that he was approached by lot of people by then to manage the building, where he simply referred them to Menake, however, the PEC did not support it, as they wanted to take the building management for granted. 
PEC advised that their fees is less than the market rate. So far, out of the rentals, the only outgoings are for payment of security, cleaning and fuel for gensets.
“All other service providers, such as security, cleaners are WNB owned businesses supervised in professional manner,” he said. 
Muthuvel stressed that there is nothing to hide. Pacific Realtors is owned neither by him nor any of his family members. Stating that he or his family is not benefiting from the management fees that the company gets.
“I can’t see how me or Maneke by then personally benefit from this arrangement, as the only way to draw down funds from our revenue is through channeling to WNBPG account to service the budget and all accounts are subject to audit. We are only under the mercy of getting rental on time from the National Government.” 
“Any payment out of the rental is as per the approval of PEC,” he concluded.

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