MALAITA Premier Daniel Suidani has declared his Executive and people’s support for the development package proposed by the United States ambassador Catherine Ebert-Grey during her meeting with the Malaitan MPs earlier this week.
The premier said Malaita has been a province that has been neglected by succeeding governments for too long and its people have had to travel everywhere in search of employment.
“If you go to the villages, only children and the disabled people are there, most of our people have gone to other places to look for jobs.
“Right now, we need development on Malaita and the US has that offer on the table,” the Premier stated.
It is anticipated that the US will develop multi-million dollar projects on the Malaita.
Describing the deal, the Premier said:
“this package is enough for our projects and Malaitan leaders must work together to make this happen.”
It is understood that the US offered to assist develop the Bina Harbour Industrial Sea Port, a road network connecting the North-South and Eastern regions and other productive sectors.
The Premier warned that “the Government and Malaitan MPs would be totally negligent if they failed to handle this matter properly and let this opportunity slip.
“People on Malaita will hold the current leaders accountable for this matter for many years to come.”
This announcement also happens amid the government’s attempts to sever diplomatic ties from Taiwan to the PRC.
Compared to PRC which offers concessional loans, the package offered by the US will largely be grants.
Commenting on the grant arrangement, the Premier stated “what is even more important is that this assistance is purely in the form of grants which gives the province a head start with development.
“It is clear PRC is offering a lot of promises, but there is nothing in writing from Beijing. We cannot wait for something that has not materialised on paper,” Premier Suidani stated.
The Premier stated that, Malaita will not be responsible for paying any debts incurred by the Solomon Islands Government if they choose to go with PRC and incur debts.
“That will be a problem the Government will have to bear, not the people of Malaita.”
It is also understood the National Transport Core is a package offered for the entire country. The Premier said, “the packaged offered by the US and others is for the entire country and not just Malaita Province.
“There is something in it for everyone so the Government must consider this in view of the nation’s best interest”