Premier of Western Province Hon. Billy Veo and members of his executive this morning paid an introductory courtesy call on Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare at the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Two important issues raised during the discussion were the State Government and the switch to establish diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China.
Premier Veo said, Western Province does not need to pressure the government for Statehood now. “A lot of preparatory work needs to be done ahead of the switch in government system. Legislations on Land governance and Economic Policy must first be set in motion. These preparations do not happen overnight. It takes time and a lot of resources.”
Premier Veo reiterated Western Province’s stance to uphold its duties to faithfully serve as an agent of the National Government.
“As an agent of the National Government, we align ourselves with National policies and directions.”
On security, the Western Provincial Government highly appreciates the national government’s prioritising of the Western border patrol boat base in the Shortland Islands.
Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare meanwhile acknowledged Premier Veo’s intelligence and wisdom on the issue of Statehood, emphasising the need for a system that works.
“A State Government system that works is what this country needs, not one that divides, but unite us.”
The Prime Minister adds, the Government’s land reforms continue with the Land Restitution Policy being worked on.
Additionally, a piece of legislation to attract investments- Investment zone is in being developed.
Provinces will also be empowered to look after their road infrastructures.
The National Government will always stand ready to support Western Province as well as other Provinces.