Ministry requests AG to take legal action against Horizon Fisheries

Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, Zaha Waheed. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Fisheries Minister Zaha Waheed has stated that she has asked the Attorney General’s Office to take legal action against the Horizon Fisheries Company following the failure by the company to build a fish factory on the island of G. Dh. Hoadedhdhoo under an agreement.

The project was awarded in 2005 and the Minister was answering a question by Madaveli MP Hussain Firushaan in the parliament today when she stated so.

When asked if the Horizon company had been issued a deadline for the complex, and whether the company had violated the contract, the Minister stated that work on the complex had not been initiated due to different reasons.

The Minister stated that the sand mined from the lagoon and to be used to build a causeway between the islands of Madaveli and Hoadedhdhoo had been left on the land given to Horizon for the construction of the complex. She also stated that the company had informed her that a fire destroyed all the equipment mobilized for the work in the area after being restricted from construction due to the sand piles.

The sand was later used by the Housing Ministry to build housing units on the island. The Ministry also requested on February 10, 2016, that the work plan of the project be amended so that the fish factory could be completed within two years of the area being cleared of the sand piles.

The Minister stated that until this administration came to office, no communication was made to complete the project.

A Ministry team that visited the site on April 28, 2019, found that there were no barriers to commence the work. Horizon also informed the Ministry that it would take two years and six months to complete the project due to the price of fish in the world market and the company's cashflow on June 3, 2019.

The Ministry then requested a date for the completion of the project and commencement of operations in the fish factory but had not received a valid answer from the company. The Ministry had also requested the economic council of the cabinet on how to proceed with the matter.

The council advised to revoke the exclusivity of purchasing fish and to obtain legal remedies through the contract if this was not achieved.

“Since the project has not gained any new developments, we have requested the Attorney General’s office to take action in the matter.” said the Minister.