Talks on repossession of L. Bodufinolhu – which was leased for development as a tourism training resort 15 years ago – remains stalled due to failure to agree on an appropriate compensation, states Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom.
The island was leased to Premier Equity – a resort development company owned by Male’ City’s former mayor Sarangu Adam Manik.
The project has not proceeded beyond construction of the foundation and the iron framework for pillars.
The government has decided to cancel the project agreement ahead of the due date due to lack of work on the project. Mausoom previously stated that the Economic Council had decided to pay Premier Equity a compensation for the termination of the agreement, and run a government project in Bodufinolhu instead.
Mausoom attended the Parliament on Tuesday morning in response to a request by Gan MP Mohamed Wisam seeking an update on the case.
He said the government has filed a lawsuit over the failure to conduct the project, and was also engaged in talks outside the court in order to expedite a resolution to the issue.
Mausoom said the government and Premier Equity had been unable to agree on an appropriate compensation.
"The talks have stalled. It is not moving ahead. We need to consider a way to compensate them for the USD 2.7 million the company has paid the state. We can repossess it. Properties have been repossessed for political purposes in the past,” he said.
Noting that the development of Bodufinolhu has remained stalled for over a decade, Mausoom said the time had come to repossess the island.