IT seems that the Honiara City Council (HCC) is not coping with service delivery despite reports that the institution has made a surplus of SBD$3million.
Councillor for Vura Ward Reginald Ngati claimed the current financial performance of the council is worrying and city residents are in for tough times ahead.
“As a matter of fact, rubbish collection contractors of Panatina and Vura wards have never been paid for their work for quite sometimes now,” Ngati said.
He said that residents of Vura ward are complaining of uncollected rubbish but he could do nothing because rubbish collectors also need to put food on the table for the children.
Ngati said that rubbish collectors help to keep the environment clean by disposing of domestic rubbish.
“However, labour is withdrawn because the city council fails to live up to its side of the deal, the result is obviously piles of rubbish strewn everywhere – and this is exactly what happened,” he said.
He said that some of these contractors have never been paid for well over three months now.
This is a sign that the city council is having financial problems mostly caused by mismanagement and corruption.
Ngati also mentioned that the Kukum clinic is scheduled for renovation. However, work is stalled because of a lack of funds.
The Kukum market development also suffers the same fate – lack of funds.
“Employees’ NPF contributions and PAYEE tax have never been paid for quite sometimes now,” he added.
“Not only that, but the council also could no longer afford to maintain its ailing fleet of vehicles – again because of the lack of funds,” Ngati claimed.
It is understood that the city council collects much of its revenue during the first quarter of the year and slowly diminishes in the remaining quarters.
“If the City council is having financial problems now, the remaining quarters will be even worse,” he said.
He said that service delivery will most definitely be reclined to the back seat whilst the council must again hunt for more money.
“I am also aware that the current council executive owes some companies and business houses monies to the tune of million dollars because every now and again they call in to have their bills paid,” he said.
Ngati said that in light of these stalled projects and unpaid bills, the $3 million dollar surplus is a mockery.
“I can only hope that staff salaries continued to be paid. However, if that happens, the city council loses its duty to the residents of Honiara,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said the spot on Audit undertaken by the Auditor General’s office in the council office is still underway and that should provide more insight into the financial undertakings of the council.
By IAN M.KAUKUI