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Sogavare denies ‘failing Malaita’

25 April 2019
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare speaking to media after his win.

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has hit out at accusations his past governments have failed Malaita in terms of project implementation.

He was speaking during his first press conference following his election, Wednesday.

He said the proposed Bina Habour project for example has been around and the country for years, but is beginning to see a way forward.

He added before the end of his four-year term, an investor should be stationed and operated there.

“In other areas, there are issues such as land dispute where people are trying to deny but that’s the fact and reality,” Sogavare said.

“You cannot move projects when people do not want to see that happened,” he added.

Sogavare said a perfect example is Ma’anoba Airport Project where $60 million have been spent on it before his last DCCG government came to power in 2014.

He said with that much, they thought they would go straight to open the airport but it was not until the expenses reach$70 million before it was opened.

“And that is enough to build roads around Malaita and enough to build any other infrastructure projects in Malaita but instead the millions are just going into the hands of the people in dispute,” Sogavare said.

He added when it comes to rural development and addressing the welfare of people right into the rural areas, more than $300 million have been spent in Malaita in the last four years.

“It was providedto their Members of Parliament through the delivery of houses, lights, sanitation just to improve the living standard of people in the rural areas.

“And when it comes to road construction, we gave five MPs from Malaita heavy machinery and these are enough to build the roads around the province,” he stated.

And when it comes to ships, he said his government gave millions of dollars in shipping grants to seven MPs in the province.

“So when people say we fail the people of Malaita, I would really dispute that because we,like other provinces, are just looking on.

“But when this level of resources is given to that particular province; it is fine given the population of around 150,000 who require more resources,” he added.

“So if we can total them up  in terms of the implementation of the budget over the last four years, the bigger chunk of the budget resources is delivered to address the welfare of the people of Malaita which is good,” Sogavare said.

However, he said what hurts him is the downplaying of this huge assistance by certain people who claimed he failed Malaita.

Sogavare added the government did not fail Malaita and would continue to prioritise Malaita with all of its national projects. 

“As in national projects, we need to strategies more because the government has been talked down especially when we want to put something but the people claimed they are not ready and came up with disputes.

“So maybe the way to go now is first we wait for people to come out and say we are ready and secondly is to be able to attract investors coming in.

“A fine example is the proposed Auluta Oil Palm project where land has already been secured but no investor was prepared to come in.”





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