Fenaka Corporation, the state-owned utilities company, finds itself under immense scrutiny after revelations of its financial and operational instability. The revelations come amidst ongoing discussions regarding the company’s role in the national economy and allegations of corruption and mismanagement.

Director General of Transition Abdul Raheem Abdulla, in an interview with Sangu TV, expressed astonishment at the dramatic increase in Fenaka’s workforce—from 2,700 employees in 2018 to more than 8,000 currently.

“This is an alarming development at a time when the company’s debt has exponentially increased. Fenaka seems to have employed people without proper planning; some don’t even have a chair to sit on or any work to do,” Abdul Raheem Abdulla said.

Fenaka’s debt currently stands at over MVR 2 billion, with the company having recently secured a loan of MVR 400 million from the Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) to address its mounting debts. The state-owned company also owes over MVR 200 million to 19 local contractors who are now struggling to make ends meet.

Opposition MPs have criticised Fenaka’s inability to pay its bills, and protests have been staged in front of the Fenaka office. They urged for immediate action, citing concerns over the financial state of the company, now estimated to be in debt of up to MVR 3.5 billion.

The Parliament is now being urged to conduct a management and financial audit of Fenaka. A resolution, moved by the opposition PNC Vice-President, Maduvvari Constituency Member Adam Shareef, calls for a comprehensive plan to repay Fenaka’s debts and ensure companies are paid without delay.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has also been criticised for its negligence, especially after the Democrats MP Ilyas Labeeb revealed that members were transferred by the government once they started investigating Fenaka. “There are 31 cases filed by the company’s employees worth MVR 72 million. Such negligence from the ACC in not looking into it is very serious,” Ilyas said.

At the parliament, ruling MDP members defended the situation, stating that there are various reasons for the company’s current financial status. MP Ali Niyaz pointed out that Fenaka has had to increase its salary expenses due to the introduction of the minimum wage and that many households are not paying their water and electricity bills. MP Mohamed Aslam highlighted that Fenaka has increased its assets more than its debts by extending its services to more islands and installing new power plants.

Earlier this month, Abdulla Waheed, the Chief Finance Officer of Fenaka Corporation, was dismissed over allegations of theft, corruption, and abuse of office, further complicating the situation.