GUADALCANAL Premier Francis Sade calls on the province’s MPs to help the provincial government address issues of concern to the province, rather than trying to destabilise his government.
Premier Sade says Guadalcanal MPs should use their position of privilege and power to help his government with development issues that will positively impact the lives of their people.
“According to the 2012/13 Household Income and Expenditure Survey report, Guadalcanal Province was categorised as the second poorest province in the country,” Sade said.
“ur provincial government is doing all it can to address the issues raised in that report,” he added.
“The best thing our MPs could do is work with my government to address these issues, especially to reduce, if not eradicate, poverty by 2030 as stated in the national government’s policy and reflected in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that Solomon Islands is a signatory to.”
Premier Sade states his government is cognizant of the fact that despite Guadalcanal Province being the largest in terms of land area and an economic powerhouse for the country, it remains one of poorest in terms of services and opportunities available to people.
He raises concern about the minimal funding to provincial government through the Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF) while much of the development funding is via MPs through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
The Premier also expresses concern about the cuts to the Service Grant and PCDF budgets for the 2021/2022 financial year.
He points out that “service projects such as clinics, area health centres, school buildings, and market houses around the province are funded largely through PCDF, rather than the CDF.”
Premier Sade says he had raised concerns about “national projects” in the province because he wanted to ensure such projects benefit Guadalcanal people.
“I was advocating for the province and therefore do not see how my leadership is a threat to the Guadalcanal Province,” Sade says.
“My government is doing its best, with the limited power and financial and other resources to ensure Guadalcanal Province and addresses our people’s needs.”
The Premier says he is concerned that some Guadalcanal MPs may have become entangled politically and financially in businesses involved in these ‘national projects’ and that has clouded their judgement.
Premier Sade says the Guadalcanal Provincial Government has and will support national projects provided they also benefit Guadalcanal people.
On the Tina Hydro, Premier Sade explains that the Guadalcanal Province had assisted the national government by wavering over $6 million in property rates to fast track the national project.
This was despite the fact that the money could have been used to pay off debts that his government inherited from previous provincial governments, which included three current MPs and Cabinet Ministers.
“We are struggling to pay off those debts while doing a favour to the national government by wavering potential income just to ensure this national project succeeds,” says Premier Sade.
He explains that with regards to the Pacific Game 2023, when the national government requested Guadalcanal Province to allocate a plot of land in the Alligator-Tenaru area in 2019, the provincial government requested the national government first facilitate the payment of more than $10m that Levers Solomon Limited (LSL) owed to the province in land rentals.
The national government ignored that request.
Premier Sade states that while his government values the Joint Coordinating Committee Meeting (JCCM) which facilitates meetings between Guadalcanal MPs and the Provincial Government, past experiences have shown that despite their promises to assist the province, the MPs have either been reluctant or disingenuous.
The premier urges Guadalcanal MPs to work with the Guadalcanal Provincial Government to address development issues in the province and assures Guadalcanal people that neither he nor his executive is a threat to the province.