THE The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) welcomes the news report about the decision made by Solomon Islands Attorney General, James Apaniai, that the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) has breached the SIPA Act by focusing on business activities outside its mandate.
It was reported, that it is not acceptable for a state owned enterprise to operate outside its mandate.
It would tarnish the reputation of the whole government in acting illegally.
SICCI in a statement said,it is a strong supporter of reform at Solomon Island ports.
“Reform is overdue. Costs have risen considerably in recent times, and productivity appears to be low.
“There are numerous accounts of poor service at the ports. Inefficiency lead to higher costs for consumers.
“Despite these problems at the ports, the focus of management in recent
months appears to have been on non-core activities.”
Late last year SIPA has branched out into importing rice, and the CEO of SIPA has been quoted saying that SIPA was about to import noodles.
It was claimed there are persistent rumours that SIPA is planning to set up an airline, and perhaps other activities.
The CEO of SIPA confirmed this approach in late 2015 when he stated to members of SICCI that SIPA intends to compete with existing businesses
on ‘land, sea and air’.
Such activities are clearly outside the SIPA mandate, and a distraction
from its important task.
SICCI encourages SIPA management to focus on its core activities, and
make the ports more efficient.
That is the pathway to making Solomon Islands more competitive for businesses, and lower the cost of living for Solomon Islands people.