Dear Editor – Very interesting indeed and what a hypocritical turn after much ado about “poor quality Vietnamese rice” and after much effort in putting a stop to SIPA’s efforts to sell lower, affordable priced rice to Solomon Islanders, Nick Ellis has the guts to promote “good quality Vietnamese rice” for sale to Solomon Islanders.
Now, there is nothing wrong with fair competition. However, Solrice and Nick Ellis with the help of Sasako do not see it that way. Why? as SIPA rice was deemed to be an “unfair” competitor as it was being sold by a State Owned Enterprise, and as the State Owned Enterprise (SOE) of Solomon Islands, any profits made by SIPA would remain within Solomon Islands, its government and its people. This must be fully understood and it is a significant fact.
That eventuality does not sit well with Solrice, significantly Mr. Nick Ellis therefore, in the months since SIPA started selling rice, since December 2015, barely four months, to benefit Solomon Islanders, Solrice with Sasako have driven a campaign to smear the credibility of SIPA’s former CEO Colin Yow in his efforts to bring affordability for rice especially targeted for lower income groups. a social reform to lower the cost of living. No one in his right minded mind would deny that, it is simply a fact.
Such comments as “poor quality Vietnamese rice”, “rice fit for animal feed” and money laundering were rife in the media.
Now, Nick Ellis is supplying Vietnamese rice, bought by Australian owned company, SUNRICE, supplied through Singapore or direct from Vietnam and it is all acceptable. No one is complaining including Sasako.
When SIPA, initiated this process, it was said to be “money laundering” and fuelled by articles written by Alfred Sasako, accused the former CEO Colin Yow of criminal activities.
Where is Sasako now? Will Sasako do the same, accused Solrice, a wholly owned company of Sunrice, a listed company in Australia, owned by Australian, Will he term Sunrice purchased of rice from Vietnam to be “money laundering”?
Now, Nick Ellis, has jumped on the bandwagon and seized the opportunity created by the former SIPA CEO Colin Yow, to bring in cheaper Vietnamese rice because as he said” we recognize that there is a need for cheaper rice”.
So he has implied that Vietnamese rice is cheaper that Australian rice? No wonder all the shops in Honiara are fully stocked with Vietnam rice and not Australian rice.
Since it was Colin Yow and the previous Board who had identified this crucial need for the Indigenous people of Solomon Islanders, not only is it hypocritical and unethical of Nick Ellis to spout this as his own idea.
Sunrice do not have the capacity to supply Australian own grown rice to feed its citizen and others including Solomon Islands, they import base products and reconstitute, repackage and sell to Solomon Islands, this is a fact that cannot be denied.
So my question is why Solomon Island companies can’t do the same? SIPA is a Solomon Island company and why can’t they be allowed to diversified and import rice and others for Solomon Islanders.
The new board and its management must think very seriously about this, service deliveries need money and money makes money. We need to halt profit shifting of millions of dollars overseas. This can only be achieved if we encourage Solomon Island owned companies’ to import these items into the country. No more, no less.
Mr Nick Ellis, you and your cohorts, and God knows who they are; are responsible for profit shifting hundreds of millions of dollars overseas over the past decade, participated in activity of transfer pricing and related party transaction, of which a significant portion of the profit would have rightfully belonged to Solomon Islands if SIPA rice had been allowed to carry on its unselfish enterprise.
In short, by your manipulation and unceasing media campaign by Sasako has cheated this country of its right to this revenue.
This is indeed a fact as you continue to sell rice to Solomon Islands, highly applauded by and to the satisfaction of the shareholders of Solrice and Sunrice wholly owned Australian enterprises.
Where does the profit from the sale of Vietnamese rice end up? Certainly Not in Solomon Island, that’s for certain and If Sasako is consistent and genuine with his accusation, he should have strongly come out to tag Solrice and its parent company Sunrice to be “money laundering”.
And again the big question is, in years past all the profits made from selling rice in Solomon Islands has failed to realise any big infrastructural gain to the people of Solomon Islands. Let alone solrice for the Solomon games.
Let me reaffirm his statement at the Solomon Islands Chambers of Commerce & Industries (SICCI) breakfast event on the 1 October 2015, witnessed by many members who have attended, Nick proudly announced revenue of 500 million dollars from the sale of SOLRICE, the hundred of millions of profit have convenient returned to Australia.
The hard earned money of Solomon Islanders. Well done NIck Ellis, you will be honoured with the Australian Order for your efforts to shift the profit.
Good on you Nick Ellis you have done extremely well for your company and country, your announcement of the remittance of millions of profit have got us by surprise and our shuttered brain ignited from our usual drowsy mentality.
It is time that we wake up to the reality and start restoring our full strength and senses. God bless Solomon Islands.
Henry J Star Dora