BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
CENTRAL Islands Province (CIP) has missed out again on the National Transport Fund (NTF) that is supposed to build infrastructure across the country.
It is understood that CIP is the only province that has no new infrastructure development for the last 40 years.
There is no road apart from the one around Tulaghi Island and there is only one wharf at Niumara (Small Ngella), which was built in 2015.
Citizens of CIP are now requesting Premier Hon Patrick Vasuni to do a press release questioning why CIP missed out again in 2018 after not benefiting from this fund since its inception.
From an awareness programme held at Tulaghi by the NTF group last year, Mr Vasuni said it is very disappointing to find out that the province has not benefitted.
“Even a small province as Renbel has benefitted,” said the Premier.
“We are really disappointed that the government has done nothing to develop infrastructures on Central Province as we also handed in our submissions.
“No such development is a slap on the face of my people.”
The NTF Board has approved the 2018 NTF work priorities and 2018 Annual Work Plan at its meeting during January 31.
According to the Head of NTF Secretariat/US Technical Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) Mr Jimmy Nuake, one of the NTF work priorities for 2018 is road rehabilitation and maintenance activities.
“The works are focused on Honiara roads (sealed and unsealed), Malaita Main roads (North, East and South including Auki Town roads and Mbobokimbo to Aola road.
“Other Provincial roads in Gizo, Buala, Lata and Noro will also receive rehabilitation.
“Wharf priorities include the Kirakira ramp in Makira as well as wharves and bridge rehabilitation throughout the country. Major Bridgework includes the construction of Mongga Bridge on Guadalcanal.
“The emergency road works in Honiara approved by NTF last year have started. Emergency work is to address potholes in critical sections on the West and East Honiara High Way.
“Selected sealed and unsealed Honiara feeder roads like at Vura and Jackson Ridge to Tanakake are part of the emergency road works as well.”
NTF is a special fund for developing, maintaining and managing transport infrastructure and services in Solomon Islands.
The current contributors to the Fund are the Solomon Islands Government, the Government of Australia and the Asian Development Bank.