Funds available to turn Addu into a modern city: Minister Ameer

Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer | Photo: Fayaz Moosa

Malé, Maldives – Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer has said that funds required for development of Addu City in to a modern city was available and that work on numerous projects will begin in the first 6 months of this year.

In a Public Service Media (PSM) program detailing President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s address yesterday at the Parliament’s inaugural session, Minister Ameer said that it is an objective of the government to develop Addu City into a modern city.

The Minister added that projects that are being carried out in various islands such sewage and water projects are finished in Addu, and that the next phase of planned projects are large scale developmental projects.

Detailing the planned projects, Minister Ameer said that transformational, large scale projects, such as the road development project, has passed the technical evaluation phase and is now at the financial evaluation phase. The project is expected to be awarded sometimes this month.

In addition, development of Gan International Airport, land reclamation projects and developing the tourism sector in Addu are all planned with some efforts already underway, according to the minister.

The people of Addu, have been very critical of such claims by the government, with reactions on social media largely negative as numerous previous pledges are yet to be fulfilled.

Recently, backlash came after the Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail said that there were over MVR 5 Billion worth projects which were ongoing in Addu City in November 2020.

Earlier in 2020, Economic Minister Ismail Fayyaz had said that the estimated amount required to be invested in Addu City to make it comfortable and desirable to live in was around USD 300 million. He also said that this amount had been arranged including the budget for the development of 8,000 beds in city hotels and some resorts as well. 

President Solih himself announced a project of value MVR 5.3 billion for Addu City on March 8, 2020. Speaking about the projects, he said that the country would only prosper and develop when areas other than Male’ are developed, for which, the government has big plans for Addu City. He even said that the plans originated from Addu itself and that his role is to merely execute and make the dreams of Addu a reality.

Former President and Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed had told that Addu projects would be starting in March 2020, during his visit to the city in late 2019. During a speech he gave at Feydhoo MDP office during his visit to Addu City, he said that according to the Minister of Finance and Treasury, the budget allocated for Addu would be greater than that of Male’. Also stated that the budget for roads, harbours as well as the airport and electricity issues had been already been received by the Maldivian government from the Indian EXIM Bank.

Addu people have also raised their concerns on the resorts in the atoll temporarily suspending their operations. Specially with Shangri-La Villingili Resort and Spa which had suspended it’s operations without any date for reopening. In addition to this, Canareef resort had also shut down amid the Covid-19 pandemic which has left many people from Addu without any source of income.