Chief Executive Officer of Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA), Colin Yow,has vowed to make a difference in improving the lives of Solomon Islanders through his reform programs.
Yow made the assurance in response to criticisms by critics opposed to recent increases imposed on import and export trade goods tariffs.
He said SIPA alone is not solely responsible for the high inflation cost in the country.
He said the system allowing monopoly over key trade areas by certain businesses and statutory organisations have contributed to high inflation in the cost of living in the country.
“They are running a monopoly here; and do not want to see this country improve so they can control the profit,”Yow said.
“I have been around the world and know that for sure as a fact,” he added.
The CEO said for anyone to say SIPA is responsible for the increased cost of living here as result of its introduction of increases in export and import tariffs in its new reforms within the organisation is an absurd statement and totally incorrect.
He dismisses accusing SIPA is responsible for inflating the high cost of living in the country.
The SIPA boss said the problem is based on the fact many businesses here are making so much money from extra overhead costs.
“The first increase net profit of$41 million; a 290 percent increase in revenue earnings by SIPA has no impact on the new tariff the company had introduced, not at all, “he said.
“What we did was, we dealt very vigorously on how we will increase our revenue. We did it, taking into consideration all revenues that were supposed to belong SIPA but were taken away by others business operators,” he added.
“Find places or areas of operation that are supposed to be ours (SIPA)and take them back; and we also reduce the cost of doing business, “he said.
Yow said most genuine businesses here are not complaining about the new tariff increases exceptthat they want to be well informed so that they can budget to meet costs under the new changes..
“That is genuine. It’s only those who cheated on SIPA’s system in the past that are disappointed. My advice is that, we have to move forward,” he said.
Yow said SIPA’s clients, shipping liners and businesses operating here have been informed of the new changes.
“I have informed shipping liners that it’s a matter for them with their customers to increase or decrease their prices to make a profit.
“And if their clients or customers decide to increase their price, and in so doing increases the cost of living in Solomon Islands, SIPA will answer for it,” he said.
Yow said this can, and will be done with SIPA’s team working under his supervision..
He said SIPA had proved the merit of its action when it made a milestone payment of $10 million dividend to the Government.
Yow said he could not possibly make such achievement by his own except with the support of team members from SIPA.
He added he has a great team whom he is confident will team up to achieve more greater things in the years ahead.
Yow said right now there are lots of loopholes within the organisation which are detrimental to effective management by giving advantage to individuals and companies to manipulate SIPA’s system.
He said SIPA has introduced new reforms which ensure an effective system is up and running, including ship berthing at domestic jetties and improvement on security.
He said tar-sealing of the ports area is in progress and hopefully it will open public toilet facilities as and when it finds appropriate.
He also said SIPA is eying venturing into profit making businesses to help local citizens especially, providing competitive market to enable affordable prices to goods and services.
“There are lots of areas to develop under the reform program and we will fast track into doing them sooner than later, because my time here is short.
“However, the biggest program of the reform is to return the management to the people of Solomon Islands.And to show with all due respect, that Solomon Islanders can take control of their own destiny.”
By BRADFORD THEONOMI