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Logs exported in past 8 years never properly monitored

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Logging is a the biggest export earner for the country but it has never been properly monitored for years now.
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Logs exported from the country in the past eight years have never been properly monitored as government workers had stopped carrying out their duties after they were not paid their overtime claims.

The minister of forestry Makirio Tagini confirmed in parliament on Wednesday that there is now no monitoring of all logs exported at the various log ponds around the country.

Tagini also confirmed the sentiments expressed by the minister of finance Manasseh Sogavare who revealed that logs exported had not been monitored. He pointed out that this is one of the areas where the government loses a lot of revenue.

Tagini in commending Sogavare stated that in the past eight years there were no proper monitoring of logs exported logs.

“That is a big concern. This is where the money goes out,” he said.

Tagini explained that the reason for lack of monitoring was because his officers claim for overtime was not paid. He added they also had Special Duty Allowance but it was no longer paid.

The minister said there were instances where they were called for work after hours and on weekends, however, when the government refused to give them overtime, “they refused to go”.

“This is where a lot of our money was leaked,” said the minister.

On his part, Tagini said he would be taking appropriate action and would propose to the government for an increase in his budget to cater for the officers’ Special Duty Allowance.

 “I will propose and increase to pay them SDA so that they can carry out their duty after work or weekend to make sure they are in log-ponds when logs are exported, loaded onto log ships,” said the minister.

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Tagini said it is important they are on site to see the species of log is exported, the volume, grade and mix.  “If we don’t do that we will be in problem. And this is what is happening, as I speak, we are facing that difficulty,” said the MP.

Logging is the biggest revenue earner for the country.

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