A TURKISH company stands ready to provide funds for the construction of the new Kilu’ufi hospital in Malaita province.
As part of getting the project rolling the National Government and Malaita Provincial Government will be signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a Turkey’s Nazer Group of companies for a SBD$387 million dollar funding.
The proposed multi-million dollar funding is a token of appreciation for the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government’s positive response to their proposal for a series of investment undertakings in Solomon Islands.
The MOU was the agenda discussions yesterday morning between Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare and the Nazer Group of Company owner and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sukru Cebi and the group’s representative in Germany Osman Genc.
Prime Minister Sogavare was told that his (Cebi) company wants to engage more in the manufacturing sector in Solomon Islands so that the country can stop relying heavily on imports and at the same time boost its level of exports.
“We have a big investment plan for Solomon Islands and we come here to discuss with you how we can help Solomon Islands. On that note we would like to convey our great appreciation for the assistance rendered to us by your Policy Secretary Productive Sector and Chief of Staff of the Policy Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (PIMEU) and the Special Secretary to the Prime Minister.
“Without their assistance we would not have been able to get this far. Through your officials, we’ve talked at length about the urgent need for a hospital in Malaita and we will go back and work on the budget.
“We have funds available and I would want to go back to Turkey next week with a signed Memorandum of Understanding so that funds can be released.”
Mr Cebu said his company has links with the Turkish Government through Mr Osman who also serves as the President of the Red Cross in Turkey.
Prime Minister Sogavare in response acknowledged Mr Cebu and his delegation for the courtesy call and said that he had seen a copy of their company’s investment plans for Solomon Islands and that he was profoundly pleased with it.
“I am very pleased with your investment plans. You have come at the right time when my government is faced with the challenge of fulfilling its policy intentions and meeting the high expectations of its citizens. Indeed your readiness to provide funding for a new Kiluufi Hospital could not have come at better time than now. This is very exciting development for this country.”
The Prime Minister said Solomon Islands is a heavily aid dependent country and this is an insult when it has abundant natural resources.
He said the DCC Government is focussing on bringing in investors to capitalise on the various sectors of potential strength to the economy to improve the country’s gross domestic products.
Nazar Group of Companies investment plan for Solomon Islands includes the establishment of a five star hotel, a housing scheme for public servants, poultry farming, processing, mini tuna canning as well as fresh and dry fruit processing.
For the Mini Tuna Cannery, Nazar Group of Company is seriously looking at Tatamba in Isabel province and Tulagi in Central Islands Province and discussion pertaining to these mini tuna canneries had taken place with the MPs for Gao/Bugotu Constituency, Isabel Province and Gela Constituency, Central islands Province.
Meanwhile, the Policy Secretary of the Productive Sector in the Prime Minister’s Office, Gabriel Titili said the Nazar Group of Companies had seen other mini tuna cannery projects in the DCC Government Policy Statement and are interested to support these different projects.
Mr Titili said the total value of these respective investments that Nazar Group of Company will engage in, including the Kilu’ufi Referral Hospital is SBD$2.0 Billion.
“These investments will create job opportunities for Solomon Islanders, increase foreign exchange earnings, increase production of local substitute value-added products hence national GDP and so on,” he said.
Mr Titili said the MOU pertaining to these investments including the Kiluufi Hospital Project is being worked on by the Attorney General Office and will be signed before the Nazar Group of Companies CEO and his delegation leave the country next week.
He said a working committee from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services is now working on the plan for the new hospital and upon its completion will hand it over to the Turkish company for funding.
The Policy Secretary for the Productive Sector said work on the new hospital should commence anytime this year.
Mr Titili said the new hospital will be built on a site, adjacent to the current hospital facility.