Home News Premier Veo and executive meet with PM Manele

Premier Veo and executive meet with PM Manele

PM Manele, Premier Veo and his executive today.
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Prime Minister honorable Jeremiah Manele MP, has received a courtesy call from the Premier of Western Province honorable Billy Veo and his Provincial executive this morning- 18th June 2024- at the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC).

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Premier Veo used the opportunity to highlight issues of importance to the Western Province and its people.

Prior to the discussion proper, the Premier made a belated congratulatory message to the Prime Minister on behalf of the people of Western Province for his successful election as the Prime Minister of the 12th parliament.

Three important issues were raised by Premier Billy Veo and high on the agenda is statehood, Premier Veo emphasized that it is the desire of people of Western Province that the Province to gain statehood in the near future.

On that front, the Premier acknowledged the last government for the amendment to section 61 of the national constitution which cater for the creation of constituent assembly- an important progress towards the realization of federal state government system.

Premier Billy Veo also highlighted the need to review the Provincial Government Act. Adding that the Western Provincial Government is of the view that the Act of 1981 gives more powers to the Provinces to look after their own affairs. The Premier encouraged the national government to consider retaining the old Act.

In the issue of geopolitics, Premier Veo highlighted that the Province supports the national government’s decision to recognize the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and that the Province welcomes and embraces our new bilateral partner.

The Premier also informed the Prime Minister that the Province is in the process of establishing sister relationship with a Province of China as well.

The Premier of Western Province further informed Prime Minister of a communique that the Province has with the last government, and that the communique needs to be reviewed. Premier Billy Veo revealed that the communique entails the process to retain crown lands back to the Province.

In his respond, the Prime Minister honorable Jeremiah Manele MP, acknowledged the congratulatory message and highlighted the important cultural connection between people of Western Province and the people of Isabel Province.

The Prime Minister highlighted that the Government for National Unity and Transformation (GNUT) is keen to work on the progression of statehood while acknowledging that not all Provinces are ready for statehood. However, a transitional plan is in place to ensure Provinces to eventually attain statehood as and when they are ready.

PM Manele further highlighted the question of, are we ready for statehood? The Prime Minister underscored the common challenges of infrastructures, human resources, and economic opportunities. The Prime Minister expressed the need to decentralize services to ensure Provinces are equally ready to embrace statehood.

PM Manele reiterated the importance of critical preparations for statehood as well.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the support by the Billy Veo led executive of the national government’s ‘friends to all, enemy to none’ foreign policy direction.

PM Manele emphasized that the government needs all bilateral and multilateral partners due to the broad development needs of the country.

The Prime Minister further expressed that the interest of the country is development, while fully aware of the on- going geopolitics.

With regards to the Provincial Government Act, PM Manele encouraged the Western Provincial Government to work closely with the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) in order to contribute effectively to the review of the PGA.

The Prime Minister assured Premier Veo and his executive that government has in its 100 days program the plan to review the PGA and that any contribution from the Province will be invaluable to the review work.

Premier Billy Veo and his executive will stay in Honiara for two weeks as they will continue to meet with other stakeholders.

Western Province is the second Province to have paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, the first Provincial Government that met with PM Manele was the Provincial Government of Choiseul Province.

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