Opposition Leader, Hon. Matthew Wale is disappointed with revelations that the huge government Mamara Tasifarongo Housing Development Project for public servants in the Northwest Guadalcanal plains, has no room for the recruitment of locals and questions why this is so.
It is disappointing to note that when the country is in dire need of any employment opportunities for locals, such a huge project which has the potential of yielding over thousands of jobs, offers no answer and it is even more surprising that this is taking place with government approval or ignorance.
For any government, it should be at the forefront of its economic policy that every big investment opportunities must be accompanied by strict conditions to reserve all job opportunities for locals, save where the level of expertise is not available locally. It should not matter whether the project is short term or not.
One only needs to look at some of the structures around that locals have built to see the high standard of workmanship that is available locally.
I therefore question why this is so? This seems to be a norm when it comes to huge projects that involve Chinese investors. Information at hand also suggest the same is also happening with the SPG 2023 construction work at the old Telekom area at Ranadi and complaints by locals involved with logging companies in the logging industry.
If this is a trend silently endorsed by the government, it is a matter of public concern and only repeats the concept of boomerang aid which is something that has been tagged with other donors other than China for long.
Unfortunately, this is what happens when the government sides with investors against the interests of its people, where indigenous Solomon Islanders are squeezed out of opportunities, and government does nothing about it.
Un-employment rate in Solomon Islands is at its highest and it is expected to grow over the coming years if nothing is done. Thus it is urgent that the government do something as it is becoming a time bomb which can lead to ongoing unwanted social issues and disunity.