President Mohamed Muizzu has said that the administration will pay the money owed to the fishermen even if comes to Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO) taking a loan to do so. The President was responding to a question from a fisherman in the “President Answers” series launched by the President’s Office (PO) on Thursday.

The President was asked the question on dues to fishermen by Abdul Ghanee, a fisherman from Nolhivaranfaru Island in Haa Dhaalu (HDh) Atoll.

Muizzu, in his reply, said the administration had taken over with an outstanding tab of MVR 250 million unpaid to fishermen by the previous administration. However, since taking over, MVR 200 million has been paid over two occasion, the President said while acknowledging that a large amount of money was still outstanding.

According to Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Resources Ahmed Shiyam, MICFO’s outstanding to fishermen currently stands at MVR 190 million.

Muizzu said the administration was working to complete the payments as soon as possible. After all dues are paid, arrangements will be made in such a way that the fishermen will not have to spend many days without receiving large amount due to them, he said.

Meanwhile, according to Shiyam, the administration, along with MIFCO, is working hard to source financing through a sovereign guarantee. Shiyam said there were challenges in sourcing financing both internally and externally due to debt monetisation during former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration. However, the existing backlog would be cleared soon, he assured.

“And other challenges in the fisheries industry will be resolved, the fisheries manifesto of this administration will be properly implemented and the income from fisheries will increase. The President is at the forefront of solving things,” Shiyam said.

The President is set to answer questions from citizens daily as time permits, according to the President’s Office. The answers to the questions will be shared through official social media channels of the President’s Office.