BY CHARLES KADAMANA
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare last night switched on the new LED light and CCTV Surveillance System that will increase the confidence of the public in Solomon Island Ports Authority ability to ensure a safe and secure environment for their cargoes.
The LED Lighting Project which is worth $15million is the largest of its kind in the South Pacific, fully funded by SIPA.
Speaking during the commissioning of the project at the SIPA international wharf Prime Minister Sogavare said the installation of LED light and CCTV surveillance system will guarantee the safety of imported cargoes are protected.
He said this is a significant achievement for SIPA.
He said SIPA has come a long way since its establishment on June 4, 1956 and it is expanding.
“We have recently seen the expansion of the international wharf which to me is an indicator that SIPA is growing and becoming major player in the region, which is very encouraging,” he said.
Sogavare said SIPA international ports in Honiara and Noro are the two main entry points in the country where cargoes are transported by sea.
“Therefore, it is important that we have a system and measures in place to diligently monitor movement of cargoes into and out of our country.
“I must also stress that the safety and protection of cargoes is a must,” he said.
Sogavare added that the initiative to use LED technology will reduce electricity usage that will assist SIPA to achieve improved energy savings and reduction in electricity cost that stands at around $6m a year.
He said this is a substantial saving and it will definitely free up some money that can be spent elsewhere to improve other service that SIPA provides.
He said the LED Lighting project will definitely make SIPA international and domestic wharves safer for people and shipowners.
“Our post will also be much safer because of the CCTV surveillance system. This state of the art system is indeed a very welcoming news for us.
“It will no doubt instil confidence in our investor in the private sectors. Investors’ confidence is very important, we all know that and it is really encouraging to see SIPA addressing this through these two projects,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
He added the two projects will also dater people from committing crimes within the vicinity of SIPA and ensure safety and security of those using SIPA’s facilities.
He said on the international front, these two projects are also important to meet the international ships and ports facility code (ISPS) as required by the International Maritime Organization.
He said the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) acknowledges the board and management of SIPA for ensuring that the ports are safe and secure.
He also acknowledges his Minister of Infrastructure and Development Manasseh Maelanga and Minister of Finance and Treasury Harry Kuma who oversees the SIPA.