PREMIER VEKE DISCUSSED LAND ISSUES WITH SICCI

Guadalcanal Premier, Anthony Veke. Photo credit: SIBC.

Guadalcanal Premier, Anthony Veke. Photo credit: SIBC.

The Guadalcanal Provincial Government will start its 2014-2015 Appropriation Budget meeting tomorrow.

Premier Anthony Veke told SIBC News today his provincial executive has passed over 20-million dollars this morning.

“Since last week the Executive continues to work until we can be able to pass through the Excutive this morning, a budget totalling up to almost 29-million dollars and that will go before the Assembly tomorrow and we will pass it in the next few days before it can be sent to the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutiona Strengthening to be consented.”

He adds, the business order for tomorrow’s sitting will focus mainly on the 2014-2015 Appropriation Budget, and the election of a new Deputy Speaker for the provincial assembly.

Mr Veke said his executive will pass the budget to ensure service delivery to the people of Guadalcanal.

Meanwhile, Premier Veke has also paid a courtesy call to the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce, SICCI, last week to discuss land issues as they relate to private sector development.

A statement from the Chamber said Premier Veke discussed with SICCI the delays with the development of the Doma Project for which the feasibility study and concept paper had already been drafted.

The Premier wanted to get an understanding from the Chamber on public-private sector engagement which may be a positive step to progressing the Doma project, along with other development projects earmarked for his province.

Chamber Chief Executive Officer, Jerry Maiki Tengemoana said Mr Veke’s desire to meet with the Chamber was a good indication that SICCI is increasingly seen as an important stakeholder even at the provincial level.

The SICCI statement said the meeting also provides an opportunity for the Chamber to also discuss the Lungga and Tenaru land issues, which the Premier confirmed was largely Fixed Term Estate land owned by Levers Solomons.

Meanwhile, it adds, this is an important issue for the Chamber as some of its members are operating or already established in the area.

SICCI’s Senior Executive Officer Nancy Kwalea said SICCI is focusing on the development of the Small and Medium Enterprises, SME, sector to encourage more to participate in the formal national economy.

She said SICCI has already begun entrepreneurship training for aspiring young entrepreneurs on a joint program with the International Labour Organisation office based in Fiji and will continue this engagement till the end of next year.

This initiative is part of SICCI’s Business Development Initiative funded under the EU NSA Grant for 2013-2015.

Meanwhile, the Guadalcanal Premier expressed his keenness for the Provincial Government to be on-board and work with the Chamber on SME Development on Guadalcanal.

The Chamber’s SME Business Development program is currently being implemented in Honiara, Guadalcanal and Malaita and runs till next year, and is hoped to be extended to other provinces in the near future, as and when funds are available for the program.

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