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New Conference Building for Mines

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Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification (MMERE) Permanent Secretary Dr Chris Vehe receiving the keys to the new conference building from Managing Director of the Construction Company Dick Oli.

The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification (MMERE) will now be able to hold meetings and other important gathering in a dedicated space- a new conference building at Lengakiki, West Honiara.

MMERE Permanent Secretary Dr Chris Vehe speaking during the soft opening today says their office does not have a proper board meeting room for the last number of years. With the newly completed conference room, it will really boost the Ministry’s morale when convening official meeting, particularly the geological survey and mining, petroleum, water and energy work arrangements through Board Meetings and other arrangements.

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The building was completed within the 3 months expected time frame in 2020 by the Contractor Atakwa Construction.  PS Dr. Vehe said his ministry is thankful that it was able to be completed quickly for utilization.

He highlighted the initiation of the project is due to mandated tasks on administering a number of Acts of Parliament and their related regulations. 

These included; the Mines and Minerals Acts and associated Mines and Mineral Regulation, Petroleum Storage Act, Petroleum Exploration Act and Rivers Water Act.

“My Ministry also assists towards the oversight role in implementing the Solomon Islands Water Authority Act and the Electricity Act.”

He briefed the occasion that these Acts and relevant legislations has their own governance and management bodies which includes; the Mines and Mineral Board, the Petroleum Advisory Board, the Solomon Power Board and the Solomon Water Board.

“Additional to these includes the Ministry’s daily administration and management arrangements such the heads of division and divisional meetings. In-house meetings of all sorts also happens.

This is how critical we needed this building space,” Dr. Vehe emphasized.

He expressed that it’s too belittling to see high level dignitaries, Government officials and highly recognized investors attending meetings in a very old mapping room.

The PS then acknowledges Atakwa Construction Company, Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) especially the Accounting General’s Office for the financial support and commitment rendered in prioritising the project despite the priorities during these pandemic period.

He also thanked the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) for technical support and assistance, Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination (NPDC) for the development program approval and more so for the understanding to allow the virement applications.

Special thanks to the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) for the overall policy direction, especially in emphasizing the need to fast track some mining activities, where it will be in this newly built Conference room that all the dialogue going forward will be efficiently and conveniently conducted.

Dr. Vehe lastly salute his staff- especially the Mines Division team and those who have been directly involved in facilitating and coordinating with the contractor.

Managing Director of Atakwa Construction Company Dick Oli also thank the government.

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