INAUGURAL SPEECH BY PRIME MINISTER ELECT HONORABLE RICK HOU - Solomon Star News

INAUGURAL SPEECH BY PRIME MINISTER ELECT HONORABLE RICK HOU
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15 November 2017
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Prime Minister Elect, Honorable Rick Hou.

My good people of Solomon Islands. I stand here today as your newly elected Prime Minister. This is an awesome responsibility which I take with humility. I would like to thank all you good citizen’s right across the country and also to those living abroad for your prayers and support. I take this opportunity to also acknowledge the Members of Parliament for having the confidence and trust in me to lead our Government for the remainder of this term. I also acknowledge the hard work and contributions by my predecessor. I must acknowledge the general public for maintaining peace and order during the past 3 weeks of political uncertainty until. Most of all, we thank God for his divine guidance in this matter of national interest.

IMMEDIATE STRATEGY

Fellow citizens, the road ahead is a challenging, I am fully aware of the enormity of the task before us. I am also conscious of the limited time we have on hand. Indeed there are questions as to what my Government plans to achieve in this very short time.

My good people, I can assure you that my new administration will quickly put in place a strategy that entails a set of priorities that are deemed achievable in the short period. The strategy is to continue with the projects and programs of the previous DCCG with increase level of policy implementation aimed to stabilize the fiscal situation, strengthen budget implementation and ensure we achieve tangible results in the short term.

 

ADDRESS THE FINANCIAL SITUATION

An important objective of the Government is to stabilize our ailing fiscal situation. It is my Government’s priority to immediately address the cash flow situation. My Government will ensure there is fiscal discipline across government sectors and to assist line ministries to execute their respective budgets more efficiently, effectively, and responsibly.

I assure you that my officials have already identified key areas in the productive, social and resource sectors that my Government will prioritize as our immediate short term plan. Given the limited timeframe, we will focus and prioritize achievable, identified infrastructure projects only. We will accelerate necessary work to fast track those infrastructure projects that are crucial to quickly resuscitate government finances and the economy more broadly. It is important to prioritize and invest in Infrastructure development that will provide opportunities for growth in the rural sector.

 

HEALTH CARE

My good people, one of our immediate tasks is to also work with the Ministry of Health to identify clinics around the country that have been forced to close down, with the view to reopen them. It goes without saying that it is the responsibility of any Government to provide basic health services to its citizens more especially in the rural areas.

 

UNDERSEA CABLE PROJECT

The submarine cable is also one of the immediate priorities of my Government. I am aware new arrangements have been re-negotiated with Australia. This project is crucial to reducing telecommunication costs so the new Government will see to its completion without any further delay.

ANTI-CORRUPTION BILL

Good citizens, I am fully aware of the demand by the people of this country to see the passage of the Anti-Corruption Bill. Corruption has caused inefficiencies in operations, it has undermined public trust in government, and it has exhausted public resources and money as well as causing injustice through advantaging a few at the expense of many. It has robbed vital resources from our schools and hospitals. I assure this nation that my administration will deliver this important legislation and we are committed in ensuring its implementation before the end of the 10th Parliament.

 

BUDGET TIMEFRAME

Fellow citizens, my Government is also aware of the challenge of formulating the 2018 Budget. We are committed to a balanced budget which must be fiscally responsible, affordable, credible and sustainable. I am aware that preparatory work on the 2018 budget has commenced.

This Government intends to create a budget that impacts the lives of people and not business as usual. We are determined to create a more focused, realistic budget, and a robust government machinery to execute the budget, enhancing its credibility. The Government will endeavor to strengthen delivery of social services, as well as to create economic growth including employment opportunities for our people.

 

OUR DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS

To our developing partners, I want to assure you that my administration is ready to re-engage and work together in advancing the interests of Solomon Islands. For too long, we have left our development partners in the cold which has negatively affected the progress of important Government programs.  But today, I assure you that my Government will take extra efforts in working closely with each and every one of our partners as we work towards our common goal to move this country forward. On that note, I would also like to thank our developing partners for their continuous support. I also wish to acknowledge the efforts undertaken by the former finance minister in renewing dialogue between the Government and our donor partners.

 

CALL FOR NATIONAL SUPPORT

Fellow citizens, in conclusion. I call on all Solomon Islanders to embrace peace and National unity. It is an important aspect for nationhood and nation building. As a matter of fact, unity is the way forward in achieving peace, progress and prosperity. We must avoid ‘disunity’ because it only forges ‘instability’.

In that connection, I would like to encourage Members of Parliament from both the Independent and Opposition Groups to work together with my new Government. As elected leaders, I hope we can work together in governing our beloved country. I believe we can move this country forward if we put all our differences aside and focus on our national interests and of our people.

To our hardworking public servants, I thank you for your tireless efforts in delivering services to our people. I call for your support and look forward to seeing you serve your Government with honesty and integrity.

To our business houses, I acknowledge the contributions you have made to our country’s economy. ­ The opportunities in creating jobs for our people, community support, and entrepreneurship are fully appreciated.

To our premiers and provincial assemblies, I also thank you for your support and I encourage you to work with us to help advance the development aspirations of our people in our provinces.

To our churches, thank you for your prayers and spiritual guidance in continuing to stand hand in hand with the Government as an important partner in seeking God’s direction for our beloved country.

To our chiefs, community leaders, elders, youth and women leaders, thank you for your contributions in leading our people and being agents for stability. This country would not have been where we are now without your unwavering commitment and love for our people.

Finally, my fellow Solomon Islanders, in and around the country and abroad; thank you for your support and prayers. We must continue to embrace peaceful co-existence and unity amongst our people. We all have a responsibility to lead and serve our nation; so let us discharge that responsibility with dignity and dedication. I urge all of you to support this Government. This is your Government; I am humbled to have been elected to lead it. I promise to do the best of my ability and to serve this country and its people with honesty and integrity.

MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS OUR BELOVED SOLOMON ISLANDS…Thank you.

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