THE Deputy Chairman of the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF), David Rupokets has given details about a property investment deal the Board has signed with the Australian Government.
Mr. Rupokets who represents employees on the SINPF Board was speaking at the ground breaking ceremony, marking the construction phase of the multi-million dollar project in Honiara last Thursday.
“Today we are here to witness the ground-breaking ceremony to commence the construction of a modern accommodation facility that will provide an excellent face-lift to our city, Honiara. This modern residential compound built to international standards will provide a home for Australian diplomats and their families who will be coming to live and work in our country contributing to our economic and social development.
“This new investment of around $112 million (not $120 million as previously reported) is made principally for our members’ return and growth in their retirement wealth,” Mr. Rupokets said, adding the investment meets our investment benchmarks.
“For the first 11 years, a fixed income stream will be flowing through from the lease of the residential compound for which an agreement to lease had already been signed. Additional income from the 10 new apartments will also contribute further to our incomes and returns,” he said.
It took almost three years to be realized.
“Our journey to invest in this new residential compound for the Australian High Commission and the expansion of the Hibiscus Executive Apartment (HEA) started on 3rd May 2018 when the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund Board (SINPF) registers its interest to participate in a public tender issued by the Australian High Commission.
“We had come a long way since registering our interest by going through the various stages of the tender by; i) successfully submitting our expression of interest (EOI) and later request(ing) for tender (RFT) to the Australian High Commission; ii) securing (approval by the) Board and Minister of Finance to invest in the new property; iii) signing an agreement to lease with the Australian High Commission, and; iv) recently signing … the construction contract with Hatanga Limited on 4th March 2022,” Mr. Rupokets said.
Construction will take two years on the new accommodation facility located just above the SINPF-owned Hibiscus Apartments in the Central Business District (CBD).
“The completed accommodation facilities will also contribute to and increasing our stock of economic assets in our country. As new investments are made to increase our national stock of capital assets, this will also increase our capacity to grow our economy and our national wealth.
“ This investment will also expose and lift our internal capacity and experience when quality buildings are designed and built to international standards and quality,” Mr. Rupokets said.
“In the construction phase, this investment will enable getting money into the pockets of workers who will be employed directly or indirectly and business and firms who will be providing services to the project.
“This investment is particularly timely and important when our economy is going through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and negative ramifications of the recent November 2021 Honiara riots that pulled our economy backwards.”
He thanked the Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency Dr Lachlan Strahan and Mr. Brian Diamond Counsellor and Counsel General, for their support in progressing the project.
Mr. Rupokets also thanked the Honiara Town Council Mayor for his support of the project.
By ALFRED SASAKO