MALAITA premier Peter Ramohia has thanked the Democratic Coalition for Change Government for prioritising Malaita Province in its development policy and assured that his government will do its best to support the Sogavare-led regime’s implementation of its policy intentions.
Mr Ramohia expressed his gratitude when he called on Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, Monday.
“I understand your government is hard at work finalising its Development Policy Framework document and I am pleased to inform you that my Provincial Government Development Policy framework is also almost ready for launch,” he said.
“My government policy will very much reflect on the DCC Development Policy intentions for Malaita.
“In this regard my government will take a proactive role in doing what is required of us to ensure the successful implementation of projects earmarked for Malaita Province.”
The Malaita premier also used the opportunity to raise the issue of climate change which poses a serious threat, especially on the survival of people in the province’s outer low-lying islands of Sikaina and Ontong Java.
“This is another priority issue that my government is looking into addressing and we will also need national government assistance.”
In response, Mr Sogavare thanked Mr Ramohia for his visit and declared support for DCC Development Policy intentions for Malaita Province.
“Thank you for coming to visit me,” he said.
“I’ve been looking forward for this moment as Malaita Province is a very important province in terms of manpower.
“Be assured that my DCC Government will prioritise development projects for Malaita.
“We believe in a statement expressed by the late Solomon Mamaloni that addressing the problems of Malaita will address the problems of Solomon Islands.”
The Prime Minister added:
“The ethnic tension was a wakeup call for the decentralisation of development to the provinces and the ball is now in your court and my court to sort things out while we have the mandate.”
Mr Sogavare also told Mr Ramohia that the national government land reform programme will continue and will require the collective support of the provinces to be successful.
He said the availability of land is an integral part of any development and the four important stakeholders in any development is the national government, provincial government, investor and landowners.
“Without cooperation by these different stakeholders, no development initiative will be accomplished.”
The Prime Minister also thanked the Malaita premier for raising the issue of climate change and assured him that his government is ready to assist Malaita address this issue.
Other issues the two leaders touched on were the provincial government system versus the proposed federal system of government, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report and the 2015 Premiers’ Conference.
On the issue of Provincial Government versus the Federal System of Government, the Prime Minister acknowledged Malaita’s position on Solomon Islands proposed adoption of federalism.
Prime Minister Sogavare and Premier Ramohia expressed similar sentiments that the Provincial Government system can be an effective service delivery agent of the Central (National) if it is allowed to operate as it was designed.
As to the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, both leaders expressed commitment to addressing the issues therein requiring their action.
On the 2015 Premiers’ Conference, the Prime Minister said he looked forward to attending the conference for a comprehensive dialogue with the premiers of all provinces on the way forward for their respective provinces and similar sentiments were expressed by Mr Ramohia.