SECURITY CLAIMS REFUTED

NHA denies affiliation to National Stadium Security Firms ahead of Pacific Games

BY EDDIE OSIFELO

IN a recent press conference, the Executive Director of the National Hosting Authority (NHA), Christian Nieng, unequivocally denied any affiliation with the two security firms currently responsible for security operations at the National Stadium.

Nieng’s statement came amidst questions from the media concerning the NHA’s involvement in the security arrangements at the venue.

Addressing reporters, Nieng clarified, “NHA has been overseeing security operations at the National Stadium during the construction phase. However, once the construction is complete, NHA will continue to manage security until the Pacific Games Organising Committee (GOC) assumes control.”

He went on to explain that the GOC had its own security partners who would collaborate with the existing security firms under the GOC’s command.

Nieng elaborated on the security situation, stating, “There are currently three security firms involved in the National Stadium’s security operations. One of them commenced its duties in conjunction with the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) during the initial stages of construction. Subsequently, the other two firms were brought in to address security concerns, particularly during incidents such as riots. After CCECC’s departure, it was deemed necessary to enhance security measures.”

Dr. Jimmy Rodgers, Chairman of NHA, shed light on the timeline for the transition of security responsibilities.

“The GOC will officially take control of the facility on November 27, 2023,” he declared. “Security engagement commenced on October 1st, 5th, and will continue until December 31st. During this period, NHA’s security team will augment the GOC’s security measures but will operate under the GOC’s jurisdiction.”

Dr. Rodgers also outlined the staffing requirements for the opening ceremony, stating, “We anticipate the need for 300 security officers during the opening ceremony, with 200 stationed on the eastern side of the stadium.” However, he noted that NHA’s current security personnel numbered fewer than 20.

Regarding the current security arrangement, Dr. Rodgers mentioned, “The Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) will oversee security at this moment. DC Park will continue to maintain security until a comprehensive security arrangement is finalized.”

He concluded by indicating that the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) was responsible for its own security until the GOC assumes control.

As the Pacific Games draw nearer, these security arrangements are under close scrutiny, with stakeholders working together to ensure a safe and successful event.

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