By ANDREW FANASIA
MEMBER of Parliament for North East Guadalcanal Jamie Vokia says foreign advisers working here are stumbling blocks to the nation’s development.
He was speaking in parliament.
Vokia claimed one of the main reasons for the country’s lack of economic development is the vast influence of foreign advisers in key Government ministries.
“Presently we have more than 90 foreign advisers mostly from Australia and New Zealand working in government ministries,” Vokia said.
“Also quite a number of them are working in NGOs such as the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Women in Business and others,” he added.
He stated key government ministries are heavily influenced by foreign advisers and therefore the activities and programs implemented in those ministries are geared towards achieving foreign interests instead of promoting and implementing core government policies and priorities.
He cited the establishment of the Core Economic Working Group (CEWG) hosted by the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination as an example.
He said this group is led by DFAT Australia and supported by NZFAT New Zealand, EU, World Bank and IMF.
“Sadly our economy has continued to experience very low economic growth of less than 3% GDP over the past years since this group was established in 2006,” Vokia said.
“Why do we need these foreign advisers and the CEWG in the first place?
“Who is paying their fat salaries? And in whose interest are they serving?”
Vokia added that that these foreign advisers need to be assessed and looked at seriously.
“I call on the Government to terminate some of these advisers,” Vokia, a government backbencher, demanded.
He said the country has well educated Solomon Islanders who can perform and deliver what the nation needs in terms of providing advice.