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We need future where investors are attracted by cheap & reliable electricity: Wale

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Wale
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LEADER of Opposition Hon Matthew Wale says Solomon Islands need a future where investors are attracted by cheap and reliable electricity.

Speaking in Parliament during his debate speech on the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2023, he said substantive steps must be taken to address the structural deficiencies in the energy sector and position it for the future.

The Opposition Leader said accountable ministers of all State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are required by the SOE Act to give strategic direction to their Boards.

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He said it would be interesting to see if there were any strategic directions given to the SOEs.

“In the case of SIEA, the minister’s strategic direction ought simply to be that the board make electricity in Solomon Islands the cheapest in the region over a reasonable period of years,” he said.

Hon Wale said in response to such direction, the Board would need to produce a business plan, financing plan and a strategy on how to deliver on the direction.

He said in the absence of such direction from Ministers, SOEs just keep on doing what they do and there is little incentive to change.

The Opposition Leader adds in a depressed economy where households are suffering the lack of basic necessities, SOEs report excessive profits.

“In an economy where there is little substantive quality long term investment, excessive SOE profits are made on the back of inefficiencies that are disincentives to investment,” The Aoke/Langalanga MP said.

Hon Wale said there is no accountability for these greater objectives and this is just terrible that this situation has never been addressed for too long.

He said the ministers who supervise the SOEs must take a very close and strategic look at the SOEs to see what reforms are required and what directions ought to be issued to their boards from time to time.

ENDS///

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