Friday 1st Mar 2024
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Villa Company

No Progress on Health Centre Despite Agreement with Villa Shipping and Trading Company"

The transport ministry in the Maldives signed an agreement with Villa Shipping and Trading Company Private Limited to establish an international airport in Maamigili, which opened in October 2011, and was converted into an international airport in 2013. The company agreed to build a high-quality health care centre for the people of Maamigili in exchange for the operation of the airport. However, after ten years since the agreement was signed, there has been no progress on the construction of the health care centre.
The ministry stated that the agreement would enhance employment opportunities in the region, but the residents of Maamigili have been complaining about the lack of implementation of the budget to replace the existing health centre with a hospital. The island has a population of more than 4,500 Guineans, along with residents of Maamigili for various purposes, but the existing health centre cannot provide adequate treatment.
The government included the development of a 30-bed hospital in the budget in 2018, but there has been no action taken so far. When asked about the health centre that Villa Company was supposed to build as part of the airport agreement, the president of the island council, Imad Farooq, stated that no such work was taking place on the island.
Villa Shipping and Trading Company Private Limited is owned by Qasim Ibrahim, a business tycoon who also hails from the island of Maamigili. Qasim Ibrahim, who announced his decision to run in this year's presidential elections, has a reputation for pressuring the government to secure business deals for his company. The Maamigili airport is one such example of his company's involvement in government projects.