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Former Fiji based Students’ long wait for release of container from Ports goes on as MEHRD explains delay

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File photo from Ports: The students' container has been sitting at Ports since mid last year.
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Students who completed their studies in 2021 in Fiji and had their cargo sent in a container that arrived mid of 2022 and still sits at the Solomon Islands Ports Authority are frustrated and wanted the government to help them release it.

In a concerned note to SBMOnline today the former students from various institutions in Fiji said they were very frustrated as the container had been sitting at Ports since mid 2022 and some of their goods might have already been already in a bad state given the long period they are stored in the container.

The former students and their families loaded the container at the end of 2021 and shipped it from Fiji. However, they claimed since the government had failed to clear it from ports, the storage fee has really gone up.

They said the failure of MEHRD has resulted in the delay of the container and they call for urgent action to allow them remove their goods from the container.

When contacted today, the Permanent Secretary of Education, Dr. Franco Roddie said it was not the Ministry of Education’s own making that the said container was delayed or has not been released by the Ports Authority.

“MEHRD however responded to meet the costs for the hold of the container. But it was not an obligation. My officers facilitated the raising of payment but Ministry of Finance and Treasury did not respond. As I have stated, it’s not scholarship policy that SIG sponsored students would be assisted with costs for bringing home their personal effects from which country they were studying at; MEHRD merely supports students by completing the Tax Exemption form. Also graduating students’ baggage allowance is only 30 kg. Cost of containers and related costs are the responsibility of students and NOT SIG/MEHRD.”

News@SBMOnline2023

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