National Assembly |02 June 2021
Leader of the opposition demands figures for Presidential visits facilitated by Coastguard and IDC
Vice-President Ahmed Afif, Chief of the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces Colonel Michael Rosette, and chief executive of the Islands Development Company (IDC) Glenny Savy appeared before the National Assembly yesterday to address a private notice question proposed by leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Sebastien Pillay.
Hon. Pillay expressed concerns over the use of state resources and costs incurred by the Seychelles Coastguard and IDC in relation to President Wavel Ramkalawan’s visits to both inner and outer islands, and the role of State House in cost-cutting during these difficult economic times.
In response, Vice-President Afif explained that all visits are planned extensively and that he can guarantee that the government remains committed to keeping costs to a minimum, and that the trips have been accounted for under the national budget.
“Let’s consider a visit to La Digue. The Seychelles Coastguard on April 6 used La Fleche, one of its bigger vessels, and what we call a fast response boat. The total fuel cost amounts to R31,920. A working visit to Fregate on April 15, again they used La Fleche and a fast response boat, to a total of R27,660. On April 29, another trip to La Digue onboard Coastguard vessel La Fleche and a fast response boat amounted to R31,920.
“Club Med, St Anne, April 21, which did not require a large vessel, but only a fast response boat, amounts to R2,700. This is just an indication of the expenses incurred by the Coastguard each time it travels to other islands that are fairly close,” Vice-President Afif noted.
With regard to the visit to Aldabra and the outer islands, VP Afif noted the use of the Topaz vessel, to a sum of R600,203. IDC CEO Glenny Savy also explained to the assembly that fuel is the only major cost to IDC when extending its domestic flight services to the President and accompanying delegations on such voyages.
“The trip to Astove, Farquhar and Desroches, as the VP rightly said, was at the invitation of IDC because we want to ensure that towards the end of next year, all IDC islands have renewable energy, and that we no longer use fuel. And the fact that the installations in Astove and Fraquhar were completed and Desroches, our biggest installation, was nearing completion, it was important for us to show the government the steps forward that the company is making,” he said.
“For your information, the trip to Astove and Assomption cost the company a total of R259,699. I can also tell you, we transported the President to Ile Denis, Coetivy and Desroches to a grand total of R31,000. We made the trip to Ile Denis on account of one of IDC’s contracts with the government of India, to have a tower and radar for the Coastguards and IDC is the contractor. There was an issue with the installation as it has been some years and government was undecided as to where the tower is to be located, and we sought assistance for this to be resolved and we can honour the contract,” Mr Savy pointed out.