Manaoba – A sad story for this nation - Solomon Star News

Manaoba – A sad story for this nation

08 November 2015

SO the government had spent $60 million to build the tiny airstrip of Manaoba in the northern region of Malaita.

On the other hand, Munda, in the Western Province, which was built to international standard, cost only $40 million.

Munda has since been receiving local and international commercial flights, while Manaopa is yet to open.

Frankly, something is not right here.

So can the government provide a better explanation to the taxpayers of this country why it had to spend $60 million on a backwater airstrip?

Is this really the cost of the airstrip or are there any hidden costs as well?

What’s so special about this particular airstrip that the government had to spend this kind of money on?

The new Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation and Communication, Moses Virivolomo, had admitted the government spent more than it should on Manaoba.

He revealed this when he appeared before the Public Accounts Committee.

This is not a better way of spending limited government funds.

For sure, there is more to this than what we’ve been told this far.

The government has an obligation to inquire into this matter in order to ascertain how the $60 million was spent.

There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind someone, somewhere, must get his pocket filled up from the Manaoba Airfield project.

Mr Virivolomo is a permanent secretary of exceptional standing. We encouraged him, now that he’s in charge of the ministry, to dig into this matter and let the taxpayers of this country know how their money is being spent on this project.

He would bring credit to himself and the ministry if he institutes an investigation.

Furthermore, the public need to know how so much of their money was being spent on a project, riddled with land disputes, and yet to serve it public purpose.

It would be terribly sad for this nation if Manaoba, due to the recurring land dispute, remains in its current form.

The government must ensure the airfield gets open soon so that the millions of dollars spent to build it are not wasted.