Premier Leslie Kikolo of Isabel province has formally invited Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to the provincial capital Buala early next month for the Provincial Second Appointed Day celebrations.
Premier Kokilo personally delivered the Prime Minister’s invitation yesterday afternoon, a statement issued by the Prime Minister Press Secretariat said.
Handing over the invitation, Premier Kikolo said, “the main reason for my courtesy call is to hand deliver to your good self, our request for you to be our guest of honour and guest speaker in this year’s Second Appointed Day which will be celebrated on Thursday 3rd June, 2021.
“It will be a pride for my executive and the people of Isabel Province to have you as the head of the National Government celebrate with us, should you accept our humble invitation,” he continued.
The Provincial Premier requested, if the invitation is accepted, travel arrangements are communicated ahead of time so that his people are prepared to meet the Prime Minister.
Premier Kikolo also discussed a number of provincial priorities, seeking support from the National Government.
He said, the lack of area for expansion of the Buala Provincial Township needs attention. An alternative is to reclaim the Buala seafront to accommodate better and improved development for the provincial headquarter. This will be done through compulsory acquisition.
Premier Kikolo also handed to the Prime Minister a copy of the Concept Plan for the proposed reclamation.
“Should the process of compulsory acquisition is done, we may need support and financial assistance from the national government,” he stressed.
The Isabel provincial Premier said, due to climate change, Fera airstrip is starting to experience sea erosion. It would be very expensive to upgrade or maintain the airstrip at its current location.
The only possibility, he adds, is to realign the Airstrip along the Island. Land space is not a problem and can accommodate Dash 8 and other bigger planes.
As the sun sets on the logging sector, tourism is Isabel Province’s new hope. Upgrading the airport will boost the tourism sector.
He said, discussion had started with the Commissioner of Lands to reclaim Fera which is currently under foreign lease.
“After the discussion, nothing much has been heard from the Commissioner of Lands, thus we need the National Government through your office to assist in getting this done quickly, Premier Kikolo told the Prime Minister.
Welcoming the request, Prime Minister Sogavare verbally accepted the invitation to be part of the Isabel provincial Second Appointed day.
“I look forward to be part of the Isabel Provincial Second Appointed Day celebrations on the 3rd of June,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister is also grateful to the Provincial Government and people of Isabel province for supporting the national government.
“Thank you for the assurance and support from your provincial government and people of Isabel province towards the national government’s endeavour for the betterment of our people and nation especially in this time of COVID 19.
Prime Minister Sogavare assured Premier Kikolo that requests including logistics for the Provincial Second Appointed Day would be chanelled through the right ministry.