THE Office of the Parliamentary Opposition is calling on the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources John Maneniaru to revoke the export license granted to Ontong Java Development Company (OJDC) to export beche-de-mer.
The Opposition office urged the Fisheries Minister not to bow down to outside influence to overshadow his status as person with integrity.
The Opposition made this call amidst the leaked letters from the Prime Minister and his deputy to grant license to OJDC; a company associated with Dr Reginald Aipia who has an outstanding court case at the High Court.
“Minister Maneniaru as a person with integrity should not allow outside influence or even his superiors to overshadow his decision.
“He must do the right thing and the Opposition urges the Minister to revoke OJDC’s export license,” a statement from the Opposition said.
The statement said the manner in which the Minister was directed by the Prime Minister and his deputy to grant license to the company was not right as it also breach fisheries procedures, which amounts to corruption.
The statement said the manner the deputy prime minister bulldozed his memo for immediate action by the ministry’s permanent secretary and director only reflected total negligence and disrespect for formal processes and procedures, let alone the responsible technical officers who are deprived of their legal jurisdiction to perform accordingly.
“Not only that but the deputy prime minister as the minister for home affairs does not have respect for Mr Maneniaru as the minister responsible for fisheries.
“Therefore, a letter as such directing the PS to grant export license to the company has already undermined the role which is supposed to be played by the Fisheries Minister.
“As per protocol, such mandate should only be applicable if the deputy Prime Minister is acting in the absence of the Prime Minister.
“Therefore, such action taken is disrespectful and belittling,” the statement said.
The Opposition urged the Fisheries Minister to restore integrity for himself and his office and to revoke the export license granted to OJDC.