Central Islands Province celebrates 40th Second Appointed Day
Central Islands Province marked its 40th anniversary today.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was the guest of honour during which he addressed the Provincial government and people of Central Islands Province on the theme, ‘40 years on: reflection and a roadmap for Central Province.’
Sogavare flagged National Unity as the roadmap advancing into the future.
He reminded Central Province that the relationship between the Provincial Government and the National Government is governed by the Provincial Government Act. The Act clearly outlines the functions and powers of the provincial executive.
All provinces must operate within the ambit of the Provincial Government Act, he stressed.
“That said, provincial governments as agents of the national government should aspire to initiate developments and compliment the national government in delivery of service.”
The relationship between the national government and provincial government must be understood, Prime Minister Sogavare adds.
The country’s future hinges on understanding the relationship. Underestimating or ignoring the relationship would be putting the future of our country at risk.
“Solomon Islands is a country of diverse culture and language, however, we are all connected through history, inter marriage, custom and culture and Christianity.”
It is the responsibility of each Provincial Government to ensure the country remain strong and united.
“Allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Premier for assuring the Government of Central Islands Province willingness to play this role, which is being an agent of unity in our country, said the Prime Minister.
He adds, the theme for this year 2nd Appointed Day “40 years on: Reflection and a roadmap for Central Province” is indeed a fitting theme.
On development challenges, Sogavare acknowledges the economic contribution that the Central Provincial government has made to the national purse over the years.
He said the coordination between the national and provincial government together with the constituency can be improved to maximize development impact in the Province.
Prime Minister Sogavare said road infrastructure in Central Islands Province is fundamental to enable market access to farmers.
He notes the need for a domestic wharf for Tulagi adding, the revival of Commodities Export Marketing Authority (CEMA) means a wharf would play a pivotal role in stimulating economic growth in Central Islands Province.
Sogavare said last month’s launch of the revival and revitalization of CEMA will encourage local farmers to become more productive, propelling the economy forward.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is supporting agricultural farmers and is also working on rehabilitating coconut and cocoa plantations.
Further, he adds, the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration under its development budget provides freight subsidies to copra and cocoa farmers, provided farmers produce their sales receipts from exporters order to claim freight subsidies.
Solomon Islands Government also has a new grant scheme to support both existing and new kava exporters, he announced.
He adds SMEs wanting to access finance can do so through DBSI with assistance from MCILI. MCILI provides a maximum of $200,000 – $500,000 guarantee scheme with DBSI.
On cross sectoral opportunities approach to develop Russell Islands, the Prime Minister said last year saw a number of investor dialogue series conducted. The dialogue series aims to pool together technical people to draw out incentives for investment in Russell Islands.
Sogavare said on the agricultural sector, a number of investors dialogue series were held last year, including preliminary consultation exercises where several locations were identified to downstream copra to crude and virgin oil.
On the Tulagi Hospital upgrade, the Prime Minister revealed, under this year’s development budget $700,000 is allocated for assessment and redesign of the Tulagi Hospital. The Government has allocated $5.8 million under the World Bank COVID-19 support for the construction of the Tulagi Hospital.
Work on the Hospital upgrade will hopefully kick off soon.
Premiers of Western Province, Guadalcanal, Temotu and the Acting Premier of Malaita Province have shown solidarity with their sister Province, the Central Islands Province and together profess support to the current government, a combined force and agent for national unity.
The Prime Minister also witnessed the ribbon cutting of the Tulagi Cut-Place Overhead Bridge, Staff quarter renovation and visited the Tulagi Hospital in the afternoon.
Government Communication Unit