The controversial $USD 55 million compensation to Noomadi Resorts and Residences were paid amidst a special audit of the company by the Auditor General’s office, it has been found.
Noomadi was awarded the contract to build 1,100 housing units across the Maldives in 2011. The contract was terminated after the company failed show progress in work.
Noomadi protested and the dispute was presented to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2017. When President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih assumed power he reached an out of court agreement with the company.
The settlement agreement was signed in August 25 but the government released that information on two months later in October 9.
Media reports state that the Auditor General’s office confirmed that a special audit on the project was ongoing.
The government agreed to pay $USD 55 million in compensation while the actual unfinished cost of the buildings by Noomadi was not more than $USD 194,710. That is 28,266 percent more than the cost of the unfinished buildings.
The out of court agreement was approved by an internal committee set up within the Housing Ministry and was signed off by President Solih.
The opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) called the compensation “blatant robbery” and said that payouts were handed to businesses which have close relations with the government.
Noomadi operates Gangehi Island Resort and Spa and The Barefoot Eco Hotel at Hanimadhoo island.