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Businessman starts paying employee contributions

THE businessman who ignored paying statutory contributions to the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF) on behalf of his workers for the past 20 years has started paying up, the SINPF confirmed yesterday.

The SINPF identified the businessman as the owner of Bulaia Backpackers Lodge. Bulaia Backpackers Lodge is owned by Alick Tabe’u, a Member for Ward 18 of the Malaita Provincial Assembly.

He started paying contributions since February 2017 until now, the SINPF said.

“If owner does not extinguish the remaining arrears, the Fund will proceed with prosecution by our in-house Counsels. And this is in process,” it said.

It is not clear how much the businessman has incurred in arrears as these have accumulated over the past 20 years or more.

When Island Sun contacted the Fund’s public relations man, Peter Psalm, he declined disclosing the arrears, saying only “kaen information ya managers na save givem – only managers can disclose such information.”

Different people spoken to say the arrears would be substantial as these would incur interests as well over the years.

Mr Tabe’u yesterday met with inspectors at the head office of the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund. The outcome of the meeting is unknown.

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