Isabel Premier James Habu has expressed his province’s support towards the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) government led by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
During a courtesy visit to the PM on Wednesday Mr Habu expressed his people’s congratulation to the new government and the PM.
“On behalf of the people of Isabel Province, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you for taking up the prime ministership again. You are bestowed with the mandate of leading the government and addressing issues affecting this nation.
“My government and people of Isabel Province saw the policy intentions of your government and we are very supportive of them because we believe they will address the issues in our nation that need addressing. We look forward to supporting your government with the implementation of its policy intentions for our province.
Premier Habu said his people are also happy that the DCC Government Policy also covers the decentralisation of development.
Government’s continued investment in infrastructure development in the rural areas, is something is people looks forward for during this term of the government.
He added, infrastructure is essential to the development of tourism, a sector which his province has started seeing growth in recent years.
Hon Habu added, Isabel’s primary contribution to the national purse is through logging and expressed optimism that through the effort of the DCC Government to revisit government logging regulations and code of practices, logging practices will be improved and resource owners will be happy.
In response, Mr Sogavare thanked the Premier for his congratulatory remarks and affirmation of his province’s support for the DCC Government policy intentions.
He said, his government is putting together its first budget for approval by Parliament next month and the emphasis of this budget will be what has been outlined in the DCC Government policy document.
“Our policy document is very ambitious and it boils down to the longstanding need for the government to redirect the development focus of this nation from centralisation to decentralisation. Of course education, health and national security will also continue to be featured in this budget,” the Prime Minister added.
Mr Sogavare said, Cabinet has just passed a policy paper for the establishment of economic zones in various locations in the country.
“Under this policy, economic zones will be established in specific locations around the country and investors that come to invest in these economic zones will be given special treatment.
He said, his DCC Government is taking this aggressive stance to set the foundation for Solomon Islands economic development and prosperity
“We are taking more of a selling approach to attracting investors to this country. We need to be aggressive in our approach in ensuring development and therefore need to take the right tough decisions to achieve this objective.”
The Prime Minister and the Premier also touched on the issue of federalism which they both agreed that it should be handled with care so as not to jeopardise national unity and that if Solomon Islands had to adopt federalism then it has to do so stage by stage.
Another issue discussed was shipping whereby the PM commended Isabel Province for being one of the two provinces with a successful provincial shipping service. The other province is Choiseul Province.
The Prime Minister said, provinces with a successful shipping service should continue to receive shipping assistance from the national government to expand their delivery capacity and these remarks were welcomed by Premier Habu.
Mr Habu was accompanied by two of his executive members, Hon William Taylor and Hon Dunstan Urele and the Provincial Secretary Selwyn Vasuni and the Chair to the Isabel Investment Company Henry Marau.