Premier Atu focuses on improving revenue to enhance service delivery

Premier Atu focuses on improving revenue to enhance service delivery


By Simon Tavake

The Guadalcanal Provincial Government, led by Premier Hon. Willie Atu, aims to improve the province’s revenue. 

Premier Atu said that better revenue collection is crucial for providing services to the wards and communities. 

He explained that relying only on fixed grants from the national government isn’t enough to meet the needs of rural communities. 

The province needs to find more ways to generate money.

“We want to improve revenue collection and ensure that the departments responsible for this have the resources they need”. 

“If we only rely on fixed grants from the central government, it won’t be enough to cover services for rural communities”. 

“So, we need to find more ways to bring in money to improve services in wards and communities,” Premier Atu said.

As a first-time Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) for Moli Ward in East Guadalcanal, Premier Atu emphasized that property owners should pay their dues to the province.

“Guadalcanal shares a border with Honiara city, and land issues are a big challenge”.

“If we strengthen our ordinances, business owners and property owners should pay what they owe to the province. This respect for the province means we can better support rural areas,” he said.

Premier Atu also referenced the Solomon Islands Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2012-2013, which labeled Guadalcanal as one of the poorest provinces. 

He disputed this, pointing out that the province contributes a lot to the country’s economy.

“Guadalcanal was ranked as one of the poorest provinces in that survey. But we contribute a lot to the country’s GDP”. 

“While all provinces get an equal share from the national government, it’s important that we use our resources wisely to strengthen our revenue base. This will help not only our communities in Guadalcanal but also the entire country,” Premier Atu said.

Last year, the Guadalcanal Province issued a statement confirming that property owners owe the province more than 18 million Solomon Dollars for the 2023-2024 financial year. 

The statement highlighted that tax avoidance has long been a norm for some property owners, and the GP Revenue Division will no longer tolerate such practices.

“The Guadalcanal Provincial Government relies on its local revenues to deliver much-needed services around Guadalcanal,” the report stated.

In retrospect, under the Government for Inclusive Change and Sustainable Development, led by the former Premier and MPA for Sahalu Ward, Hon. Francis Belande Sade, who is now the Member of Parliament for Northwest Guadalcanal, improving the province’s revenue base was one of their top priorities. 

“The key factor of improving the basic services in terms of education, health, and other services is to have a robust financial and administrative capacity”. 

“That’s why it is important to start with the internal mechanism of our provincial government first and foremost before we can deliver our services effectively and efficiently, and this current Executive is on the right track to achieve this within its first year thus far” Sade stated in 2022.


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